Woman on Texas death row gets execution date

A woman condemned for the slaying of a 3-month-old child she was baby-sitting in her home in 1994 was given an execution date Monday.

Cathy Lynn Henderson, 49, was set for lethal injection April 18 for the death of Brandon Baugh, whose body was found stuffed in a wine cooler carton and buried in a field outside Temple in Bell County, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Henderson's Austin-area home.

The discovery came nearly three weeks after the child was first reported missing.

Henderson's attorneys had asked State District Judge Jon Wisser at a brief hearing Monday to wait until the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on their appeals. Travis County prosecutors had sought an execution date in February.

"The date for her execution is inconvenient for her," Eryn Baugh, whose infant son was killed more than 12 years ago, told the Austin American-Statesman Monday outside court. "The date for her murdering our son was inconvenient for us."

Henderson, who has contended she is innocent, was convicted in 1995 when a jury agreed with prosecutors who argued the woman smashed the child's head with a blunt object while she was baby-sitting him and his older sister.

Henderson fled to her home state of Missouri. According to testimony at her trial, when arrested in Independence, Missouri, she told a childhood friend she had killed someone she described as a male and wanted to change her identity.

FBI agents said Henderson gave several stories about the baby's disappearance before finally saying he fell from her arms while she was answering the phone and hit his head on the floor.

A medical examiner, however, said that was impossible because of the severity of the child's fatal injuries, reports AP.

Henderson argued in previous appeals the trial court improperly forced her lawyers to turn over maps of where the child was buried. The maps never were used in court and did not play a role in her conviction, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled in 1997.

Henderson would be the fourth woman executed in Texas since the state resumed carrying out the death penalty in 1982. In that time, 377, men have been put to death. Of the 389 condemned inmates in Texas, Henderson is one of 10 women.

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