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Texas executes inmate who attempted suicide day earlier

April 3, 1997

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) _ A former manager of a topless nightclub who killed a woman while robbing the place was executed Wednesday, a day after he tried to slash his throat and wrist with a disposable plastic razor.

David Lee Herman, 39, was put to death by lethal injection about 38 hours after a guard on death row spotted the injuries. He spent three hours in a hospital getting his wounds stitched before being returned to his cell.

Herman was convicted of killing Jennifer Burns, 21, in a Dec. 20, 1989, robbery at Lace, a nightclub in Arlington he had managed two years earlier.

Herman confronted club manager Clay Griffin at gunpoint and ordered him to the office where Ms. Burns worked as a bookkeeper and another woman, Sally Fogle, who checked customer IDs, were preparing to open for the day.

Herman ordered Ms. Burns to put $11,200 in a canvas bag, then tried to rape her. When he couldn’t, he became enraged and shot all three with a .357-caliber gun, killing Ms. Burns, court records show.

He was arrested 10 days later and much of the money was recovered. The two shooting survivors testified against him and a jury took only 15 minutes to convict him of capital murder.

``I wouldn’t mind getting a stay. I’m not on some suicide mission,″ Herman said in an interview two weeks ago.

But prosecutor Greg Pipes said the jury couldn’t have heard a more clear-cut case.

``It’s always nice to have two people come in and say: `He shot me and shot my friend and he killed this young lady,‴ Pipes said.

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