A Houston, Texas man, who was found guilty of strangling a popular drag queen to death in 2001, is scheduled to be executed on Jan. 20, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Despite lawyers filing state and federal appeals, convicted killer Richard Masterson is on the books to be executed next Wednesday for the strangulation murder of professional female impersonator Darrin Honeycutt, who performed under the name Brandi Houston, and was 35 years old at the time of his death.
Honeycutt was found naked in bed at his apartment in Houston's Montrose neighborhood on Jan. 27, 2001. Honeycutt and Masterson met the previous day at a gay bar after Honeycutt's performance. Masterson fled the scene in Honeycutt's car and was arrested in Florida. He initially told police he put the performer in a sleeper hold after the two men underused and planned to have sex.
Masterson initially asked to be executed but redacted his request when prison doctors prescribed him antidepressant medication while in prison. He also reportedly confessed to the murder because he was embarrassed about having sex with another man. He also said Honeycutt wanted to be choked during sex but something went wrong, Towleroad reports.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected a petition for Masterson Monday. The document claimed the Harris County assistant medical examiner wrongly interpreted the results of Honeycutt's autopsy, the Houston Chronicle reports.
In a death row interview, Masterson said he "accepts responsibility" for his actions but insisted "I never admitted I murdered anybody."
"I feel pretty good," he told the newspaper. "I'm ready to find out the outcome one way or the other. It's been a long road."