HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - Convicted killer Preston Hughes has been executed for the fatal stabbing of a 3-year-old boy and the child's teenage cousin.

The 46-year-old Hughes insisted he was innocent of the attack and that police had planted evidence and coerced his confessions to killing 15-year-old Shandra Charles and Marcell Taylor 24 years ago in a Houston field.

As she was dying, Charles told a police officer a man she knew as "Preston" had tried to rape her. Hughes already was on probation for sexual assault of a child and was the only Preston living in apartments near the murder scene.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from Hughes hours before he was put to death.

Hughes became the 15th Texas prisoner executed this year.

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