Bruce Webster and another man on the federal death row here, Orlando C. Hall of El Dorado, Ark., were among five men whom prosecutors said kidnapped Lisa Rene from her Arlington, Texas, home to get revenge on her two brothers for a botched $5,000 marijuana deal. Over two days, she was taken to Arkansas, gang-raped, bludgeoned with a shovel and buried alive.
Rene, a native of the Virgin Islands who was living with relatives at the time of the abduction, was dragged from the family’s apartment as she pleaded with a 911 operator. “They’re trying to break down my door! Hurry up!” she said, according to a tape of the call.
A muffled scream is heard seconds later, with a man saying, “Who you on the phone with?” before the line goes dead.
Rene’s body was found in a shallow grave at a nature reserve in Pine Bluff on Oct. 2, 1994.
Webster was sentenced to death by U.S. District Court Judge Terry R. Means of the Northern District of Texas on Sept. 24, 1996, on a jury’s recommendation.
Webster would become the first prisoner put to death by the federal government since the March 18, 2003, execution of Louis Jones Jr., a Gulf War veteran who had raped and killed a female soldier, and the fourth since it resumed executions in 2001 after a 38-year suspension. The others were Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and drug kingpin Juan Garza.