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Texas executes aspiring rapper for murdering studio manager

Prison inmate Ray Jasper is seen in an undated mugshot handout provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. REUTERS/Texas Dept of C
Prison inmate Ray Jasper is seen in an undated mugshot handout provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. REUTERS/Texas Dept of C

By Jon Herskovitz

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas on Wednesday executed Ray Jasper, a 33-year-old aspiring rap musician convicted of stabbing to death a San Antonio music studio owner after slitting his throat so he could rob him of equipment.

Texas, which executes more people than any other state in the United States, said Jasper died at 6:31 p.m. CDT (2331 GMT) after receiving a lethal injection at its death chamber in Huntsville.

"To my family, we are one. To my beautiful daughter, the best thing that ever happened to me. I love you endlessly. I am you and you are me forever," Jasper wrote in his last words, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said in a statement.

Jasper was convicted of the 1998 killing of David Alejandro, 33, who owned and operated a studio where musicians could be professionally recorded for a fee.

Jasper and two friends recorded at the studio for about two hours and then took out knives to attack Alejandro.

"Jasper slashed Alejandro's throat from ear to ear, but did not kill him," the Texas attorney general's office said.

After that, Jasper and an accomplice repeatedly stabbed Alejandro until he was dead. Jasper then covered the body with a sheet and proceeded to steal equipment from the studio valued at between $10,000 to $30,000, the office said.

Jasper has said in a letter sent to the Gawker website that one of his accomplices killed Alejandro, not him.

"Under the Texas law of parties, they say it doesn't matter whether I killed the victim or not; I'm criminally responsible for someone else's conduct," he wrote to Gawker in February.

The other accomplices were sentenced to life in prison.

Jasper was the 11th person executed in the United States this year and the third in Texas.

Including Jasper, Texas has executed 511 people since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, which monitors executions.

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Eric Walsh)

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