According to court documents Edward Ellis would be fired from his job as a maintenance person at the apartment building where Bertie Elizabeth Eakens. Ellis would force his way into her home and would strangle the 74 year old and leave her body in the bathtub
Edward Ellis would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Edward Ellis would be executed by lethal injection on March 3 1992
Edward Ellis Photos
Edward Ellis Case
A man was executed by injection at the state prison here early today for strangling an elderly woman at a Houston apartment complex where he had been dismissed as a maintenance worker.
The 38-year-old prisoner, Edward Ellis, was put to death after the United States Supreme Court refused on Monday night to grant a stay based on his lawyers’ claim of new evidence that another man, who died a year ago, was the killer.
The victim of the slaying was Bertie Elizabeth Eakens, 74, who was found strangled in her bathtub at a complex where Mr. Ellis had earlier been dischared on suspicion of stealing from apartments. Mrs. Eakens’s killing was one of three in 1983 that became known as the Houston bathtub slayings. Mr. Ellis was not implicated in the others. Jewelry, Checks and Cadallic
The motive was robbery, the authorities said. Jewelry, checks and Mrs. Eakens’s Cadillac were stolen. Prosecutors later contended that Mr. Ellis’s fingerprints had been found on the door to the victim’s apartment, and that he had been seen driving a car like hers and selling jewelry like the items taken from her home.
In their appeals, Mr. Ellis’s lawyers contended that another man had killed Mrs. Eakens. In the last of those appeals, they said they had obtained a letter of confession written by that man several years ago, when he was in prison. The letter was addressed to his wife, who was illiterate.
“We did not know about this evidence, and we did not make this up,” said one of the lawyers, Mandy Welch of the Texas Resource Center, which provides legal help to prisoners on death row. “If we had known about it, we would not have waited until an execution date to bring it up.”
But the courts upheld the conviction and sentence, and the Supreme Court late Monday declined to issue a stay.
Mr. Ellis became the 46th person executed in Texas since the Supreme Court in 1976 allowed the resumption of capital punishment. The total is the highest of any state.