Robert Andrew Lookingbill

Executed January 22, 2003 by Lethal Injection in Texas


4th murderer executed in U.S. in 2003
824th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
3rd murderer executed in Texas in 2003
292nd murderer executed in Texas since 1976


Since 1976
Date of Execution
State
Method
Murderer
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
Date of
Birth
Victim(s)
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
Date of
Murder
Method of
Murder
Relationship
to Murderer
Date of
Sentence
824
01-22-03
TX
Lethal Injection
Robert Andrew Lookingbill

W / M / 24 - 37

07-22-65
Adeline Wuanita Dannenberg

W / F / 70

12-05-89
Beating w/metal bar
Grandmother
11-19-90

Summary:
Lookingbill was living with his grandparents, Lorenz and Adeline Dannenberg, in San Juan, Texas. In the early morning hours of December 5, 1989, he knocked on the door of a neighbor and claimed that someone had beaten up his grandparents. Lorenz and Adeline Dannenberg were found with a serious head wounds caused by a blunt instrument. A 54 inch metal bar was later found in the shed with blood and hair on it. Lookingbill was observed by arriving officers to have blood stains on his boots and blood spatters on his jacket. There was no signs of forced entry to or ransacking of the residence. Mr. Dannenberg survived the attack with permanent brain damage and died a year later. His 70 year old wife died 10 days after the attack. Lookingbill confessed that he was all "coked up" and drinking and had beaten his grandparents with a metal bar while they were sleeping. $568 was found in his pocket. At the time of the murder, Lookingbill was on parole for a Burglary for which he was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment in 1986. Evidence was also introduced in the sentencing hearing that he had murdered neighbor Gloria Hoopengarner in 1984.

Citations:

Final Meal:
Fried chicken, French fries, iced tea, apple pie, jalapenos, garlic bread, and vanilla ice cream.

Final Words:
"I would like to thank all my loved ones that are standing over there for all the kindness and support you have shown me over the years. Be strong. Do not hate, but learn from this experience. Just because it happens, do not think that God doesn't care. He will be with you. I will be there with all of you. I love you all and appreciate all of you. You won't be forgotten and there are a lot of people out there that love you. It has been a blessing to know all of you. This is not easy for any of us. Don't be upset about my situation, because I am not. I am still faithful and I am still strong. Just give my love to everyone out there. Don't forget me and burn a candle for me when you can. I love you all."

Internet Sources:

Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Executed Offenders (Lookingbill)

Texas Attorney General Media Advisory

MEDIA ADVISORY - Friday, January 17, 2003 - Robert Andrew Lookingbill Scheduled to be Executed.

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott offers the following information on Robert Andrew Lookingbill, who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2003.

On Nov. 19, 1990, Robert Andrew Lookingbill was sentenced to death for the capital murder of his grandmother, Adeline Dannenberg, which occurred during the course of committing and attempting to commit robbery in San Juan, Texas, on Dec. 5, 1989. Lookingbill also received a 75-year sentence for the attempted capital murder of his grandfather, Lorenz Dannenberg, which occurred during the same criminal transaction. A summary of the evidence presented at trial follows:

FACTS OF THE CRIME

Robert Andrew Lookingbill was living with his grandparents, Lorenz and Adeline Dannenberg, in San Juan, Texas. On the night of the offense, Alberto Aguilar gave Melissa Martinez, who rented an apartment behind the Dannenberg residence, a ride home from work about 11:45 p.m. Sometime between 12:30 and 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 5, 1989, Lookingbill knocked on the Martinez apartment door claiming that someone had beaten up his grandparents. Aguilar testified that he did not think Lookingbill's voice was very convincing. Martinez and Aguilar followed Lookingbill to the Dannenberg house. On the way, Aguilar noticed a motorcycle that was not there when he and Martinez had arrived earlier.

Upon entering the Dannenberg residence, Martinez and Aguilar observed Mr. Dannenberg lying on the floor with blood on his head. They then observed Mrs. Dannenberg lying on her bed. Her face appeared to be badly beaten. It was later determined that both victims suffered massive head wounds as a result of being struck by a blunt instrument. Lookingbill informed Aguilar that he had called the police, and shortly thereafter the police arrived. While Aguilar and Martinez waited outside, Aguilar heard a "metal clinking" noise from the storage shed behind the house.

Officer Gilberto Alaniz testified that he observed no signs of forced entry to the residence, nor did it appear that the Dannenberg house had been ransacked. Alaniz saw blood stains on Lookingbill's boots and blood spatters on Lookingbill's jacket. Alaniz investigated the tool shed twice. On the second occasion, he saw Lookingbill enter the shed. When asked what he was doing, Lookingbill indicated that he was nervous and worried about his grandparents. He was told to leave the shed.

A subsequent investigator discovered in the shed, a metal bar that was 54-inches long, two inches in diameter, and 20 to 40 pounds, on which were blood stains and hair strands. Lookingbill indicated to Alaniz that he had just arrived at the residence and found his grandparents in their condition. Alaniz checked the engine of the motorcycle, expecting that it would be hot if, in fact, Lookingbill had just arrived at the house. The engine was only warm.

The jacket, boots and jeans Lookingbill was seen wearing the night of the offense were recovered by police. An investigator discovered $568.31 in the jeans when they were inventoried. Joyce Dannenberg, the Dannenberg's daughter, testified that her parents received more than $500 in social security income in December, which would have been received around the first of the month. Her mother usually kept some of the money in her purse. It was determined that the blood on Lookingbill's boots was consistent with the blood of Mr. Dannenberg. The blood on the metal bar was also consistent with Mr. Dannenberg's blood.

Mr. Dannenberg survived the attack but suffered serious and permanent injury. Mrs. Dannenberg did not survive the attack. She died on Dec. 15, 1989. Her treating physician indicated that she had been treated for fractures of the skull, jaw and hand. Surgery had been performed to remove bone fragments and a blood clot from the brain. It was the physician's opinion that the injuries were caused by a blunt instrument. A pathologist who performed the autopsy concurred that a blunt instrument was probably the cause of the injuries and further testified that the metal bar recovered from the tool shed could have caused the injuries.

Lookingbill gave two statements to police on the morning of the offense. In the first statement, he declared that he arrived at the Dannenberg residence at about 1:15 a.m. on December 5 and discovered his grandparents as the police subsequently found them. In the second statement, Lookingbill declared that he arrived at the residence about 1:15 a.m., and that he was "all coked up" and had been drinking. He retrieved a long metal bar from the garage. In his confession, Lookingbill stated, "My grandfather was sleeping on the floor. I approached him with the long metal bar. I just raised the bar and struck him in the head. I was standing right above him . . . My grandfather did not yell out. He just groaned in pain. I must have hit him more than one time." Lookingbill then went down the hall into his grandmother's bedroom and, by Lookingbill's account, "She was sleeping. I hit her on her head with the same pipe. It was dark I could not see her but I knew where she was sleeping. She did not yell out." He took the money in Mrs. Dannenberg's purse and then called the police, after which time he went to the Martinez residence.

12/05/89 - Robert Andrew Lookingbill attacked his grandparents, Lorenz and Adeline Dannenberg, striking them repeatedly with a 54-inch metal bar during the course of his committing or attempting to commit robbery.

12/15/89 - Adeline Dannenberg died of injuries sustained in the attack.

Trial Proceedings:

02/15/90 - Lookingbill was indicted in Hidalgo County for capital murder and attempted capital murder.

11/15/90 - A jury found Lookingbill guilty of the capital murder of Adeline Dannenberg and the attempted capital murder of Lorenz Dannenberg during a consolidated trial.

11/19/90 - Following a separate punishment hearing, the trial court sentenced Lookingbill to death.

Direct Appeal Proceedings:

05/01/92 - Lookingbill filed a direct appeal brief raising 20 points of error.

11/30/92 - Lookingbill filed a supplemental brief raising one additional point of error.

04/06/94 - On direct appeal, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied relief on all 21 claims, and affirmed Lookingbill's conviction and sentence.

04/25/94 - Lookingbill petitioned for rehearing.

06/08/94 - The Court of Criminal Appeals denied rehearing. Lookingbill did not seek certiorari review from the United States Supreme Court.

09/12/94 - The Court of Criminal Appeals issued the mandate.

State Habeas Proceedings:

11/22/96 - Counsel was appointed to represent Lookingbill during state writ of habeas corpus proceedings.

04/21/97 - Lookingbill filed a skeletal state habeas petition.

08/20/97 - Lookingbill filed a supplemental habeas petition, raising a total of 12 actual claims for relief.

03/04/98 - On state habeas, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied relief based on the Court's own review and on the state trial court's findings and conclusions.

01/16/03 - Lookingbill moved for a stay of execution and filed a successive state habeas application in the trial court.

Federal Habeas Proceedings:

07/23/99 - Lookingbill filed a federal writ of habeas corpus petition raising 37 claims.

12/10/99 - The State (through Gary Johnson, former Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Institutional Division) filed an answer and moved for summary judgment.

08/24/00 - The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Brownsville Division, issued a memorandum opinion and order granting summary judgment and dismissing Lookingbill's writ as untimely filed.

10/25/00 - The district court granted Lookingbill's request and appointed David Sergi as co-counsel.

06/03/02 - On appeal, after full briefing by both parties and two requests for supplemental letter briefing, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's dismissal of Lookingbill's writ petition as untimely filed.

06/17/02 - Lookingbill petitioned for a rehearing en banc.

07/10/02 - The Fifth Circuit denied Lookingbill's petition for rehearing.

01/02/03 - Lookingbill petitioned for clemency from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

01/13/03 - The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari review.

01/17/03 - The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted to deny Lookingbill's request for clemency or for commutation.

PRIOR CRIMINAL HISTORY

During sentencing, the State introduced evidence that in December 1985, Lookingbill was found guilty of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit aggravated assault, and in February 1986 was sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Evidence was also admitted that Lookingbill committed an unadjudicated extraneous assault -- the December 1984 murder of Gloria Hoopengarner, a neighbor to Lookingbill's grandparents -- and then bragged about the murder and robbery to several individuals.

Texas Execution Information Center by David Carson.

Robert Andrew Lookingbill, 37, was executed by lethal injection on 22 January 2003 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder and robbery of his grandmother.

Some time between 12:30 and 1:30 a.m. on the morning of 5 December 1989, Robert Lookingbill, then 24, knocked on the door of Melissa Martinez. Lookingbill lived with his grandparents, Lorenz and Adeline Dannenberg. Martinez rented an apartment nearby. Lookingbill told Martinez that he had just come home and found that his grandparents had been beaten. Martinez and her friend, Alberto Aguilar, followed Lookingbill home and stayed with him while waiting for the police. While Martinez and Aguilar waited in the house, Lookingbill went outside to the tool shed.

Officer Gilberto Alaniz arrived to investigate the crime. He found Mr. and Mrs. Dannenberg both severely beaten and bleeding from their heads. He found no signs of forced entry and no evidence that the house had been ransacked. He noticed blood stains on Lookingbill's boots and jacket. When Alaniz was investigating the tool shed, Lookingbill tried to enter, but Alaniz ordered him to leave the shed. A subsequent investigator discovered in the shed a metal bar that was about 4 feet long and weighed over 20 pounds, on which were blood stains and hair strands.

Lookingbill told Officer Alaniz that he had just arrived at the residence on his motorcycle and found that his grandparents had been beaten. Alaniz touched the motorcycle engine and observed it to be warm, but not hot.

Lookingbill later confessed to beating and robbing his grandparents. He said he first struck his grandfather on the head with the metal bar. "My grandfather did not yell out," Lookingbill stated. "He just groaned in pain." Next, he beat his grandmother. "I hit her on the head with the same pipe," he stated. "She did not yell out." Lookingbill stated that he took the money from Mrs. Dannenberg's purse, called the police, then went to Melissa Martinez' apartment. He said that he took his grandparents' money so he could buy cocaine. Police found $568.31 in the jeans Lookingbill was wearing on the night of the murder. The blood on Lookingbill's boots and on the metal bar were consistent with Mr. Dannenberg's blood.

Adeline Dannenberg, 70, died in a hospital 10 days later. Lorenz Dannenberg, 77, suffered permanent brain damage. He remained comatose for about a year before dying.

At Lookingbill's trial, Alberto Aguilar testified that when Lookingbill came to Martinez's apartment to announce that his grandparents had been beaten, he sounded insincere. He also testified that when Lookingbill was out in the shed waiting for the police to come, he heard a "metal clinking" noise coming from the shed.

Lookingbill had a prior felony conviction for burglary. He began serving a 7-year sentence in August 1986 and was paroled after 8˝ months. (At the time, early release was common in Texas due to strict prison population caps imposed by U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice.)

A jury convicted Lookingbill of capital murder in November 1990 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in April 1994. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied. He was also convicted of the attempted capital murder of Lorenz Dannenberg and received a 75-year sentence for that offense.

From death row, Lookingbill insisted that he did not murder his grandmother. Of his confession, he said that he thought he was signing a statement that he understood his rights. "I'm supposed to have knocked off the people I loved most in the world," he told a reporter. "I know I didn't do it. And $500 ain't much compared to my grandmother's life." "I would like to thank all my loved ones that are standing over there for all the kindness and support you have shown me over the years," Lookingbill said in his final statement. "Be strong. Do not hate, but learn from this experience. It has been a blessing to know all of you. Don't forget me." He then mouthed kisses to his supporters. When the lethal drugs took effect, he let out two strong breaths. He was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m.

ProDeathPenalty.Com

When Robert Lookingbill was 24 years old, he beat his grandparents with an iron bar as they slept in San Juan, Texas. Robert Andrew Lookingbill was living with his grandparents, Lorenz and Adeline Dannenberg, in San Juan, Texas.

Sometime between 12:30 and 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 5, 1989, Lookingbill knocked on the door of an apartment behind his grandparents' home and told the residents that someone had beaten up his grandparents. One of the residents testified that he did not think Lookingbill's voice was very convincing. They followed Lookingbill to the Dannenberg house. On the way, the man noticed a motorcycle that was not there when he and and the woman had arrived around 11:45 pm. Upon entering the Dannenberg residence, the couple observed Lorenz Dannenberg lying on the floor with blood on his head. They then observed Adeline Dannenberg lying on her bed. Her face appeared to be badly beaten.

It was later determined that both victims suffered massive head wounds as a result of being struck by a blunt instrument. Lookingbill informed the man that he had called the police, and shortly thereafter the police arrived. While the couple waited outside, Aguilar heard a "metal clinking" noise from the storage shed behind the house. Officer Gilberto Alaniz testified that he observed no signs of forced entry to the residence, nor did it appear that the Dannenberg house had been ransacked. Alaniz saw blood stains on Lookingbill's boots and blood spatters on Lookingbill's jacket. Alaniz investigated the tool shed twice. On the second occasion, he saw Lookingbill enter the shed. When asked what he was doing, Lookingbill indicated that he was nervous and worried about his grandparents. He was told to leave the shed. A subsequent investigator discovered in the shed, a metal bar that was 54-inches long, two inches in diameter, and 20 to 40 pounds, on which were blood stains and hair strands. Lookingbill indicated to Alaniz that he had just arrived at the residence and found his grandparents in their condition. Alaniz checked the engine of the motorcycle, expecting that it would be hot if, in fact, Lookingbill had just arrived at the house. The engine was only warm. The jacket, boots and jeans Lookingbill was seen wearing the night of the offense were recovered by police. An investigator discovered $568.31 in the jeans when they were inventoried. Joyce Dannenberg, the Dannenberg's daughter, testified that her parents received more than $500 in social security income in December, which would have been received around the first of the month. Her mother usually kept some of the money in her purse. It was determined that the blood on Lookingbill's boots was consistent with the blood of Lorenz Dannenberg. The blood on the metal bar was also consistent with Lorenz Dannenberg's blood. Lorenz survived the attack but suffered serious and permanent injury.

Adeline Dannenberg did not survive the attack. She died on Dec. 15, 1989. Her treating physician indicated that she had been treated for fractures of the skull, jaw and hand. Surgery had been performed to remove bone fragments and a blood clot from the brain. It was the physician's opinion that the injuries were caused by a blunt instrument. A pathologist who performed the autopsy concurred that a blunt instrument was probably the cause of the injuries and further testified that the metal bar recovered from the tool shed could have caused the injuries.

Lookingbill gave two statements to police on the morning of the offense. In the first statement, he declared that he arrived at the Dannenberg residence at about 1:15 a.m. on December 5 and discovered his grandparents as the police subsequently found them.

In the second statement, Lookingbill declared that he arrived at the residence about 1:15 a.m., and that he was "all coked up" and had been drinking. He retrieved a long metal bar from the garage. In his confession, Lookingbill stated, "My grandfather was sleeping on the floor. I approached him with the long metal bar. I just raised the bar and struck him in the head. I was standing right above him . . . My grandfather did not yell out. He just groaned in pain. I must have hit him more than one time." Lookingbill then went down the hall into his grandmother's bedroom and, by Lookingbill's account, "She was sleeping. I hit her on her head with the same pipe. It was dark I could not see her but I knew where she was sleeping. She did not yell out." He took the money in Adeline's purse and then called the police, after which time he went to the rental residence.

Lookingbill was on parole from a burglary conviction for which he had served about 9 months of a 7 year sentence. Evidence was also admitted that Lookingbill committed an unadjudicated extraneous assault -- the December 1984 murder of Gloria Hoopengarner, a neighbor to Lookingbill's grandparents -- and then bragged about the murder and robbery to several individuals.

The Huntsville Item

"Execution Set for Hidalgo County Man ," by Mark Passwaters. (January 21, 2003)

A Hidalgo County man convicted of beating his grandmother to death for drug money in 1989 is scheduled to be executed Wednesday night. Barring a stay of execution, 37-year-old Robert Andrew Lookingbill will be the third person to die by lethal injection in Texas this year.

Authorities say Lookingbill, who had previously served less than one year of a seven-year sentence for aggravated assault, beat Adeline and Lorenz Dannenberg so severely with a heavy metal bar on the night of Dec. 5, 1989, that the two died from their injuries. The bar, which was 54 inches long and two inches across, has been described as weighing "in excess of 20 pounds."

In the early morning hours of Dec. 5, Lookingbill - who later described himself as being "coked up" - knocked on the door of a neighbor and said his grandparents, who he lived with, had been beaten up. The neighbor, Melissa Martinez, and her friend Alberto Aguilar, went into the Dannenberg home and found Lookingbill's grandparents unconscious and lying in pools of blood. The 75-year-old Mr. Dannenberg, who would survive for more than one year before dying from his injuries, was found lying on the floor. Mrs. Dannenberg, 70, was found lying on her bed, suffering from a fractured skull, jaw and hand. She died 10 days later.

The case against Lookingbill developed quickly. The metal bar, with blood stains and hair strands which matched the Dannenbergs, was found in a nearby family shed. Police also quickly seized Lookingbill's pants, jacket and boots, which were splattered in blood. When the contents of his jeans pockets were inventoried, police found a total of $568 - an amount Dannenberg's daughter later testified was about the amount of her parent's social security checks, which they had received a few days before.

When questioned by police, Lookingbill gave two very different stories. First, he said he returned to the Dannenberg house at about 1:15 a.m. and found his grandparents already beaten and unconscious. He later recanted and told a different story, saying he returned at around 1:15 "coked up" and drunk and grabbed the metal bar from the garage.

"My grandfather was sleeping on the floor. I approached him with the big metal bar and struck him in the head . . . I must have hit him more than one time," Lookingbill told investigators. "(His grandmother) was sleeping. I hit her in the head with the same pipe."

Lookingbill now insists he was not responsible for the murders of his grandparents. "I'm supposed to have knocked off the people I loved most in the world," he told The McAllen Monitor. "I know I didn't do it. And $500 ain't much compared to my grandmother's life."

Lookingbill pled not guilty to a single charge of capital murder - his grandfather was still alive at the time of his trial - but was found guilty by a Hidalgo County jury on Nov. 15, 1990, exactly 11 months after his grandmother's death. He was sentenced to death four days later, and received a 75-year sentence for the attempted capital murder of his grandfather.

Through a Web site hosted by the Canadian Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Lookingbill continues to protest his innocence. In spite of his protestations, it appears unlikely Lookingbill will receive clemency. He is scheduled to be executed sometime after 6 p.m. in the death chamber at the Huntsville "Walls" Unit.

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Robert Lookingbill (TX) - Jan. 22, 2003

The state of Texas is scheduled to execute Robert Lookingbill Jan. 22 for the 1989 murder of his grandmother, Adeline Dannenburg in San Juan. Lookingbill, a white man, confessed to beating the 70-year-old woman with a metal bar while robbing her for money to buy cocaine. She suffered severe head injuries and died 10 days later. Her husband, Lookingbill’s grandfather, also a victim of the attack, survived despite serious brain damage. Lookingbill undoubtedly committed this crime, but his death sentence is a result of a flawed system over-anxious to execute human beings for revenge.

The main legal issues in this case revolve around the trial’s jury selection process; Lookingbill claims the court erred in removing prospective jurors because of their opposition to the death penalty. This argument has two parts, one applying to this individual scenario and the second to death penalty cases in general.

During jury selection in Lookingbill’s trial, a prospective juror expressed his philosophical opposition to capital punishment, and raised doubts as to whether or not he would sentence a convicted murderer to death. After a series of confusing questions by attorneys from both sides, he said he would obey the law to the best of his ability. The trial judge removed him anyway, and did so with a statement that clearly displayed the bias nature of the death penalty system: “When he was asked the question he switched around again, and that’s where the Court has problems, and of course I don’t think there is any question the man is just gutless. That’s all it is, and he will not – I don’t care what anybody says, and he very plainly told – and for the record he’s a black man. They are the ones that always get electrocuted over there. I think he probably just feels that way. I respect him for it. But the Court is going to grant the motion.” The appellate courts need to recognize that this prospective jurors lack of “guts” is an inappropriate and unconstitutional reason for removal, and remand this case for a new trial.

The larger issue at stake goes beyond whether or not the trial court felt this particular prospective juror should serve on Lookingbill’s jury. Can the courts accept a system that discriminates against people philosophically opposed to capital punishment, even if they do refuse to sentence people to death? They do now, and because they do, the juries making life and death decisions in courtrooms across the country are inherently biased against defendants.

In Wainwright v. Witt (1985), the U.S. Supreme Court determined that prospective jurors who are unwilling to impose the death penalty cannot serve in capital trials. This decision has shaped the playing field for the past 17 years, repeatedly allowing prosecutors to assemble juries consisting only of death penalty proponents. Defendants no longer face juries of their peers, but rather juries comprised only of citizens who believe in the death penalty. Aside from its obvious discrimination issues and pro-prosecution implications, the Wainwright decision contains vicious side effects concerning racial discrimination. Since people of color oppose the death penalty in greater numbers than white people, the system of selecting jurors is racially bias and severely unjust.

As U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan wrote in dissenting to the Wainwright decision: “Like the death qualified juries that the prosecution can now mold to its will to enhance the chances of victory, this court increasingly acts as the adjunct of the State and its prosecutors in facilitating efficient and expedient conviction and execution irrespective of the Constitution’s fundamental guarantees.”

Debates concerning jury selection have repeatedly made their way to the U.S. Supreme Court in the past few years, most recently in the case of Thomas Miller-El, another Texas death row inmate. Miller-El’s case challenged the guidelines for striking jurors on racial grounds, currently held in Batson v. Kentucky (1986). The problems in jury selection processes are by no means one-dimensional, though, and Lookingbill’s appeals, despite never breaking out of the 5th Circuit, raise serious red flags concerning these issues. Please write the state of Texas and request a stay for Robert Lookingbill so the courts can continue to explore the injustices prevalent in the process of selecting jurors.

Houston Chronicle

"Man Executed for '89 Bludgeoning; Grandmother Beaten With Steel Bar." (January 22, 2003)

HUNTSVILLE (AP) - A construction worker who was on parole when he bludgeoned his grandparents to steal money to buy cocaine was executed Wednesday night. "When it comes, you can't run from it and I'm not going to run," Robert Lookingbill said in his final statement from the death chamber gurney.

"I would like to thank all my loved ones that are standing over there for all the kindness and support you have shown me over the years," he said, referring to his wife, Brenda, and some friends. "Be strong. Do not hate, but learn from this experience. It has been a blessing to know all of you. Don't forget me." He mouthed kisses to them. He let out two strong breaths and was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m., 13 minutes after the drugs began to flow.

Lookingbill was resigned to facing lethal injection for Adeline Dannenberg's 1989 fatal beating with a steel bar as she slept. The U.S. Supreme Court denied two requests for stays.

He never wavered on his insistence he didn't kill his 70-year-old grandmother in her South Texas home. "They're doing me a favor," Lookingbill said recently from death row. "The other side offers more than this life."

Lookingbill, 37, was the third convicted killer put to death this year in Texas. "It was one of those cases where the jury had no problem convicting him," said Sophia Arizpe, one of the Hidalgo County district attorneys who prosecuted Lookingbill. "He had the blood spatters on his clothing and his boots, which is consistent with being there when the crime is committed."

Lookingbill grew up in Hidalgo County, dropped out of high school in 11th grade and lived with his parents or grandparents, Adeline and Lorenz Dannenberg. He returned to the Dannenbergs in 1987 after serving less than a year in prison on a burglary conviction.

On Dec. 5, 1989, Lookingbill came home after 1 a.m. from what he said was "a night of partying" that included drinking and snorting cocaine and said he found his grandparents beaten. His grandmother was in bed with fractures to her skull, jaw and hand and bone fragments in her brain. She died 10 days later. Lorenz Dannenberg, 77, was found with similar head injuries on the living room floor. He survived for about a year but was comatose, unable to help police. Lookingbill also was sentenced to 75 years in prison for attempted capital murder in his grandfather's attack.

As police questioned Lookingbill, other officers found a 3 1/2-foot-long metal bar covered with bloodstains and hair strands in a tool shed behind the Dannenbergs' house. The blood belonged to Lorenz Dannenberg.

Canadian Coalition to Abolish Death Penalty (Lookingbill Homepage)

The Following Text is submitted by Astrid Hogenkamp, a friend and penpal of Robert Lookingbill. Robert, Astrid, and we at the CCADP ask for your help and support

Robert Lookingbill is 31 years old and has been on death row for about seven years now. He says he's innocent,and even though a lot of people try to convince me otherwise , I believe him. Robert is a kind person and I don't think he is capable of comitting the crime he has been accused of, and now they're planning to execute him March 9!

I don't have all the details on his case but I can give you a general picture of it.

Robert was accused of killing his grandmother over some money. First of all, Robert loved his grandmother very much. Second, the money he was supposedly trying to steal was his own money, and he had the paperwork to prove that but somehow this wasn't allowed as proof.

His version of the story is that he came home from work and found his grandmother heavily beaten up by someone.He called an ambulance and went to seek help next door, and someone he had never seen before answered the door. Next, he went outside to see if the ambulance was coming already so he could tell the paramedics where to go. After a while the police came and they took Robert to the police station to answer some questions.Instead, they questioned him for six hours on end and then they probably decided he was guilty.

Now he only has 5 more days to live, that is, if the authorities have their way. *

If there is anyone who can help to stop this, please contact him, his address is

Robert Lookingbill #999040
Polunsky Unit D.R.
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, Texas 77351 USA

They want to think they're getting rid of a murderer, but they're actually killing one of my very best (and innocent) friends.

Astrid Hogenkamp.