Earlier this month, however, Masterson told the Houston Chronicle from death row that while he accepted responsibility for Honeycutt’s death, “I never admitted I murdered anybody.”
Masterson had a long drug history and criminal record beginning at age 15. Court documents show he ignored advice from lawyers at his 2002 trial and insisted on testifying.
He told jurors he met Honeycutt, who used the stage name Brandi Houston, at a bar and they went to Honeycutt’s Houston apartment, where Masterson said the chokehold was part of an autoerotic sex act.
Honeycutt’s body was found Jan. 27, 2001, after friends became worried when he failed to show up for work.
Evidence showed Masterson had taken Honeycutt’s car and dumped it in Emerson, Georgia. He was caught more than a week later at a Belleview, Florida, trailer park with another stolen car. The owner of that car testified about meeting Masterson in a Tampa bar frequented by gay men and told of a similar attack where he was choked unconscious by Masterson and robbed.
In his testimony, Masterson told jurors he was a future danger — an element they had to consider when deliberating whether a death sentence was appropriate.
“Everyone has to live and die by their own actions,” Masterson said.
Jurors sent him to death row. His case has recently drawn the attention of Pope Francis, who has reinforced the Catholic Church’s opposition to capital punishment.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.