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Texas executes man for 2002 murder, kidnapping

(Reuters) - Texas on Thursday executed a convicted murderer who, along with an accomplice, had robbed a convenience store in 2002, kidnapping two women who worked there and a male customer who was later shot dead.

Richard Cobb, 29, was given a lethal injection and pronounced dead at 6:27 p.m. CDT (7:27 p.m. EDT) at a state prison in Huntsville, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said in a statement.

In his final statement, Cobb said: "Life is too short to harbor feelings of hatred and anger. That's it."

Cobb and his accomplice, Beunka Adams, who was executed in 2012, entered BDJ's convenience store in Rusk, Texas, armed with a shotgun and wearing masks, and demanded money, according to the state attorney general's office.

They took store clerks Candace Driver and Nikki Ansley Dement hostage along with customer Kenneth Vandever and forced them into Driver's Cadillac, the account said.

Adams drove to an open pasture and forced Driver and Vandever into the trunk while Cobb held the gun. Adams then took Dement to a wooded area and raped her. Later, according to the account, Cobb fatally shot Vandever and either Cobb or Adams shot the two women, both of whom survived.

Cobb was the fourth person executed in Texas this year and the ninth in the United States, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

(Reporting By Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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