Friendswood woman's killer executed today

Friendswood killer's attorney says the case was 'a trespassing that got ugly
Associated Press

HUNTSVILLE - A suburban Houston man who was 19 when he was arrested for fatally stabbing and beating a woman at her home, then robbing her and taking her car nearly 11 years ago was executed this evening.

Robert Alan Shields, 30, was the 12th prisoner executed in Texas this year.

A Galveston County jury condemned him for the killing of Paula Stiner, 27, who had been repeatedly stabbed with a knife from her own kitchen and beaten with a hammer when she was found by her husband as he returned home from work Sept. 21, 1994. The couple had lived at the home in Friendswood, southeast of Houston, for only about three months.

Shields, whose parents lived next door, was arrested three days later.

"The world will be a better place without him, that's for sure," said Michael Guarino, the former Galveston County district attorney who prosecuted Shields at his capital murder trial in 1995. "It was an extremely vicious, brutal murder.

"It was one of the worst capital murder scenes I've seen, and I've seen many over 20 years as district attorney."

When asked by the warden if he had a final statement, Shields responded twice, saying "No."

He gasped, sputtered and made a slight groan before slipping into unconsciousness. He was pronounced dead eight minutes after receiving the lethal injection, at 6:15 p.m. His parents and his victim's parents were among those who watched the execution.