Killer Of 7-Year-Old San Antonio Girl Set To Die

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - A convicted sex offender is set to die in Huntsville for slipping into a San Antonio apartment in the middle of the night, snatching a 7-year-old girl and raping and strangling her.

Forty-six-year-old Guadalupe Esparza was condemned for the June 1999 murder of Alyssa Maria Vasquez. Her battered body was found in some weeds behind a convenience store near her home.

A babysitter who discovered the child missing identified Esparza as having visited the residence earlier that night and promising to return. The child's mother told authorities she met Esparza at a bar and he'd been calling her even though she'd given him the brush-off.

The scheduled Wednesday evening lethal injection would be the 13th this year in Texas. At least five other convicted killers have execution dates for early next year.