Lubbock man scheduled to be executed for double murder

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Updated: 7/18/2013 1:04 am
Lubbock death row inmante Vaughn Ross will pay the ultimate price Thursday for a gruesome double murder more than ten years ago. 

Ross was sentenced to death for murdering, execution style, his girlfriend's sister, 18-year-old Viola Ross McVade, and Douglas Birdsall, associated dean at the Texas Tech library, in January 2001. 

The bodies of both victims were discovered in Birdsall's car, wedged into the backwoods near Canyon Lake Number Six. DNA evidence from part of a latex glove found in the car placed Ross at the scene. Prosecutor said the slaying was a result of a fight between Ross and McVade, who weren't related, and Birdsall was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

"He had a whole future ahead of him, with a doctorate degree in architecture in a field that has tremendous success," Lubbock County District Attorney Matt Powell said. "That was all thrown away in a brutal murder that took place at his hands. So, I think probably waste comes to mind more than anything, and the sheer brutality, and lack of consciousness that was done in committing that crime."

Ross' execution is scheduled for Thursday evening. Right now, there is a pending request for stay of execution with the Supreme Court. 

"Our complaint was that the trial lawyers didn't do a sufficient mitigation investigation, and that if they had, that there was information that might have justified a jury returning a capital life sentence, rather than a death sentence," Rick Wardroup, who represented Ross in a previous federal appeal, said. 

At least six other Texas prisoners have execution dates set for the coming months, including Michael Yowell of Lubbock, who killed his parents and grandmother. His execution is scheduled for October 9th. 
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