- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 29, 2003

HUNTSVILLE, Texas, Jan. 29 (UPI) — A former machinist was executed Wednesday for killing two nurses at a Beaumont massage therapy clinic in a dispute over his bad checks.

Richard Eugene Dinkins, 40, was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m. CST after receiving a lethal injection for the murders of massage therapist Katherine Thompson, 46, and customer Shelley Cutler, 32.

Dinkins apologized to the families of the two victims in a statement he wrote before his execution.

"If there were any way I could change things and bring them back I would, but I can't," he said. "Because of what I caused to happen many people were affected and I am very sorry that it did."

Members of Dinkins family and the families of the victims were witnesses.

On Sept. 12, 1990, Dinkins had gone to the Therapeutic Massage in Beaumont to discuss some bad checks he had written to Thompson. He was armed with a .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol and a .357 Magnum revolver.

An argument broke out between Dinkins and Thompson and he shot her in the upper abdomen and head with the .357 Magnum. He fired at Cutler through an office window, hitting her in the head. He then fled as a fire alarm sounded.

Police found Dinkins' name in the appointment book and a firearms expert testified that slugs recovered at the crime scene came from his .357 Magnum pistol. An FBI forensic expert found blood on Dinkins' blue jeans matched Thompson's blood type.

Dinkins confessed to police after he was confronted with the evidence.

Thompson was a nurse but worked as a substance-abuse counselor and massage therapist in Beaumont. Cutler, a traveling nurse, was filling out paperwork for her first appointment with Thompson.

Dinkins was put to death in the second of three executions scheduled this week in Texas. It was the fifth this year and the 294th since the death penalty was restored by the state in 1982.

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