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Virginia Executes Former Navy Lt. Who Murdered Enlisted Woman

June 18, 1993 GMT

JARRATT, Va. (AP) _ A former Navy lieutenant who murdered an enlisted woman because she complained about his advances was executed Thursday after refusing to fight his death sentence.

Andrew J. Chabrol, 36, was pronounced dead in Virginia’s electric chair at 11:07 p.m., said Wayne Brown, operations officer at the Greensville Correctional Center.

Chabrol was convicted of the July 1991 rape and murder of Melissa Harrington in his Chesapeake home.

He had lost his automatic review before the Virginia Supreme Court in February and chose not to pursue further appeals.

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″He’s made up his mind, and it’s been made up for a long time,″ said his attorney, Bill Brown. ″He’s a bright individual. It’s an informed choice.″

Gov. L. Douglas Wilder reviewed Chabrol’s case although the inmate did not request clemency, said Glenn K. Davidson, the governor’s press secretary. Wilder did not intervene.

Chabrol spent Thursday at his cell next to the electric chair and had no visitors, Brown said.

″He’s pretty calm, definitely rational,″ Brown said earlier in the day.

Mrs. Harrington’s husband, Joseph, a Navy weapons chief warrant officer, said this week he was glad Chabrol’s execution was near.

″I just hope they get it over with as soon as possible, and get things back to ... well, they won’t be the same,″ he said. ″But at least it will give me some satisfaction that he got what he deserved.″

Chabrol tried to develop a romantic relationship with Mrs. Harrington while she was in his command. But she rejected his advances and complained to his superior.

Chabrol said her complaint damaged his career and ruined his marriage. He left the Navy in January 1991 and began planning revenge, keeping a computer journal in which he referred to Mrs. Harrington as ″Nemesis.″

He got another man, Stanley J. Berkeley, to help him abduct the woman from her Virginia Beach home and they took her to Chabrol’s house in Chesapeake.

Mrs. Harrington was strapped to a bed and raped. Her head was wrapped in duct tape and she was strangled with a rope.

″I just went berserk,″ Chabrol testified at his trial, where he pleaded guilty.

Berkeley was sentenced to three life terms on convictions of first-degree murder, rape and abduction.