Friday, March 4, 2005

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Media Advisory: George Anderson Hopper Scheduled For Execution

AUSTIN–Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott offers the following information about George Anderson Hopper, who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, 2005, for the 1983 capital murder of Rozanne Gailiunas in her Richardson home.

FACTS OF THE CRIME

On October 4, 1983, Hopper attacked 33-year-old Rozanne Gailiunas in the bedroom of her Richardson, Texas, home. While her four-year-old son was sleeping in another room, Hopper tied Gailiunas to her bed, strangled her and shot her twice in the head. Gailiunas’ son found his mother with tissue stuffed in her mouth and making a gurgling sound. Gailiunas lived for two days before she was taken off life-support and died.

Gailiunas’ murder went unsolved until early 1988 when the investigation centered on Joy Aylor, whose husband had been having a relationship with Gailiunas at the time of her murder. Through the confessions of several middlemen who had each skimmed portions of a $5,000 payment, Aylor had paid as an advance for “taking care of” Rozanne, the investigation led to Hopper who had been given $1,500 of the original $5,000 as the next person in the chain of Aylor’s murder-for-hire scheme.

After a five-month, multi-state attempt to elude the police, Hopper was arrested on December 20, 1988, in the Dallas area. On February 27, 1989, Hopper admitted to the murder, providing the police with detailed audio and video confessions. Ultimately, Hopper was convicted for the capital murder of Rozanne Gailiunas and sentenced to death.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

February 14, 1991 -- A Dallas County grand jury indicted Hopper for capital murder for killing Rozanne Gailiunas.
March 2, 1992 -- A Dallas jury found Hopper guilty of capital murder.
March 16, 1992 -- The punishment phase concluded with a death sentence.
November 5, 1997 -- The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Hopper’s conviction and sentence.
March 1, 2000 -- The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Hopper’s state application for writ of habeas corpus.
October 31, 2002 -- A U.S. district court denied a federal petition for writ of habeas corpus.
July 22, 2004 -- The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied relief. A request for a rehearing was denied on September 27, 2004.
December 1, 2004 -- A Dallas county district court set the execution for March 8, 2005.
December 10, 2004 -- Hopper filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court. The petition is pending.

CRIMINAL HISTORY

• 1976 -- Hopper (age 20) charged with indecent exposure for exposing himself to an apartment manager in Houston, TX.
• 1984 -- Hopper arrested in connection with a pick-pocketing incident at Richardson Square Mall.
• 1982-1986 -- Hopper sold marijuana on consignment from drug dealer/friend.

MISCELLANEOUS

For additional information and statistics, please go to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website, www.tdcj.state.tx.us.