A date with the executioner
by Robert A. Waters
“No one deserves to be strapped down to that gurney to die!” Bobby Lee Hines.
On June 6, 2012, unless something changes, Bobby Lee Hines will drift off to sleep and never wake up.
Hines’ known criminal history started in 1984 when he was twelve. He stole a car and received one year of juvenile probation. His probation was later revoked and Hines spent three months in confinement. For the next six years, the young thief was arrested numerous times and convicted of burglary, assault, and revocation of probation.
In 1991, while still on probation for burglary and assaulting an elderly woman, Hines was arrested for a particularly heinous murder.
The Attorney General of Texas released the following statement concerning Hines’ crimes.
“On October 19, 1991, Mary Ann Linch went to the apartment of her friend Michelle Wendy Haupt in Carrollton, Texas, to spend the weekend. Linch brought with her a Marlboro cigarette carton in which only four packs remained. She had purchased the cigarettes at Brookshires’ in Corsicana and the carton contained a stamp showing ‘Brookshires’ Store’ on the side. Linch left the carton at Haupt's apartment when they left that evening to go to a nightclub. Linch had intended to return to Haupt's, but instead spent the night with another friend.
“Linch testified that when they went to the club, Haupt was wearing a gold sand-dollar charm necklace which she always wore. During the evening, Haupt became ill and another friend drove her back to her apartment. When he left, he testified that Haupt locked the door behind him.
“Meanwhile, at Haupt's apartment complex, Hines appeared uninvited at a party. When the hostess asked him who he was, he identified himself as the brother of the apartment manager. He told another guest that he was part of the maintenance crew at the complex. He pulled out a ring of keys and stated that he could get into any apartment that he wanted to at any time.
“At about 6 a.m. on October 20, 1991, Haupt's next-door neighbor heard a woman screaming. He could not determine the source of the screams, but his wife called the police. Two police officers were dispatched to the scene, but the screaming had ended before they arrived. After inspecting the premises, the officers could not determine where the screams had come from and they eventually left.
“Two other residents in the apartment directly below Haupt's also heard screaming loud enough to awaken them. One of the residents testified that he also heard other loud noises that sounded ‘like a bowling ball being dropped on Haupt's floor.’ He heard this noise at least 20 times. The screaming lasted for approximately 15 minutes.
“The resident of an adjacent downstairs apartment also heard the screaming. Just before noon that morning, she and the other residents discussed what they had heard and became concerned for Haupt. Eventually, the apartment leasing manager was persuaded to check Haupt's apartment. After knocking and receiving no answer, the manager opened the door and saw Haupt lying on the floor just inside the door. A stereo cord was tightly wrapped around her neck, her face was black, and she appeared to be dead.
“Haupt was found dressed in only a robe and lying face up on the floor. There were puncture wounds to her chest area. The robe was stained with blood, but it had no holes to correspond with the puncture wounds to Haupt's body, indicating the robe was placed on her body after the wounds were inflicted. Further, the belt to the robe was tied tighter than a person would normally tie it against her own body.
“An object appearing to be an ice pick was found on the nearby couch. Hines' palm-print was found inside Haupt's apartment in what appeared to be blood, and his thumbprint was found on the inside of the front door.
“Later that same day, Hines was found to be in possession of Haupt's gold sand-dollar charm. He had blood on some of his clothing and some other objects from Haupt's apartment, including the Brookshires’ cigarette carton, were found under the couch where he had been sleeping. When Hines was arrested, he had a scratch under his right eye, scratches to the left side of his neck, and a scratch on his cheek. DNA testing conducted on a bloodstain found on Hines’ underwear indicated that the blood was consistent with Haupt's blood.
“The Dallas County Chief Medical Examiner testified that the cause of Haupt's death was strangulation and puncture wounds. Haupt had abrasions to her neck and jaw, contusions on her neck, and a fractured hyoid bone. She had about 18 puncture wounds. She had rectal tears with hemorrhaging. Barnard testified that the puncture wounds could have been made by the object found on the couch in Haupt's apartment.”
Bobby Lee Hines wrote a response of sorts. The website “Death Row USA” published this back in 2003.
“No one deserves to die!
“My name is Bobby Lee Hines, I am on Texas death row, I have been here for almost 12 years now and I first came here at the age of 19 years old. I am now into the last stage of my appeals.
“I would like to take the time to say a few words, if you are willing to listen.
“I often wonder if the people in the free world really understand that there's two types of society? You have the free world society and the prison society.
“When I was sentenced to death, it was because a jury was randomly picked out from the free world society and then given the power to make such a life and death decision! These people on the jury had no degree's in psychology. None that I remember were even a doctor of any kind!
“The jury deciding I was or could be a threat to society is why I was sentenced to death, NOT because I was found guilty of a crime. There are two special issue questions the jury had to answer in the punishment phase that clearly show that! Here they are just as they were when given to the jury in my trail (sic).
“Special issue 1: Do you find from the evidence that there is a ‘probability’ beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant Bobby Lee Hines would commit criminal acts of violence that constitute a continuing threat to society? jury answered YES
“Special issue 2: Taking into consideration all of the evidence, including the circumstances of the offense, the defendant's character and background, and the personal moral culpability of the defendant, is there a sufficient mitigating circumstance or circumstances to warrant that a sentence of life imprisonment rather than a death sentence be imposed? jury answered NO
“Would you for a moment reread this again and notice that the state is asking the jury to take a ‘guess’ at the answers, because again they have ‘no’ type of degrees and just thought (guessed) that I might be a threat to society. Now in special issue 2, last sentence asking, if life imprisonment should be imposed, nowhere do they explain that there are two types of society. They weren't given a way to make a clear decision but only a way to make only a guess!”
The death row inmate's response continues for several more paragraphs without mentioning his victim.
Wendy Haupt doesn’t have a response. She's dead and long gone. In fact, I couldn’t even find a photograph of her.
Yet another forgotten victim.