Murder-for-hire participant executed for 1992 Texas killing

HUNTSVILLE, Texas - A man convicted of beating a woman to death in a murder-for-hire scheme was executed by injection Wednesday.

Jeffrey Dillingham, 27, confessed to police some two weeks after Caren Koslow was slashed and beaten to death with a metal pry bar at her Fort Worth home. Her husband, Jack, was beaten and left for dead but survived.

''I would just like to apologize to the victims of the family for what I did,'' Dillingham said in his final statement. ''I take full responsibility for that poor woman's death and for the pain and suffering I inflicted on Mr. Koslow.''

Dillingham was condemned for killing Caren Koslow on March 12, 1992. An accomplice, Brian Salter, and his girlfriend, Kristi Koslow, Caren Koslow's stepdaughter, both received life prison terms.

Trial testimony showed Kristi Koslow wanted her father and stepmother dead because she didn't get along with them after her father remarried. She also believed she would inherit as much as $12 million and had promised $1 million to Dillingham.

On Tuesday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected requests for commutation, a pardon and a reprieve. Dillingham's lawyers had argued it was unfair that his two accomplices received life terms and he got death.

Dillingham was the 34th convicted killer to receive lethal injection in Texas this year, three fewer than the 1997's record 37 executions. Five others executions are expected over the next 16 days.


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