Execution date set for El Paso man convicted of strangling woman in 2002


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – An execution date has been set for an El Paso man convicted of murdering a woman nearly two decades ago.

As KTSM previously reported, Justen Grant Hall, 38, strangled Melanie Billhartz with a black electrical cord in El Paso on Oct. 28, 2002.

Hall is set to be executed on Nov. 6, 2019, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

According to court documents, the murder happened after Hall and Billhartz began arguing while driving together from a drug house to a store.

One of the victim’s friends later told investigators that the woman was killed to prevent the discovery of the drug house.

According to documents, a medical examiner’s investigation revealed the power cord was wrapped tightly around Billhartz’s neck three times.

The examiner’s report went on to say that the victim had fractured nasal bones, multiple fractures to her lower jaw bone, fractures in her right hand, a fractured rib, and fingers missing from her right hand.

Hall was convicted of the murder in Feb. 2005, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Prior to the incident, the department says Hall previously served a two-year sentence for one count of a home burglary in El Paso.

Hall is among 12 inmates scheduled to be executed through the end of the year.

Click HERE to see the full list.

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