| Updated at: 2156 PST, Saturday, September 11, 2010|
LOS ANGELES: Authorities in the US state of Washington on Friday executed a confessed murderer and rapist, in the western state's first use of capital punishment since 2001.
"The execution (by lethal injection) of Cal Coburn Brown was carried out at 12:56 am (0756 GMT) September 10 at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla," the Washington State Department of Corrections said in a statement.
Brown, 52, had spent more than 16 years on death row following his 1993 conviction for rape and aggravated first-degree murder in the strangulation and stabbing death of 21-year-old Holly Washa.
He repeatedly cited his own mental problems in his defense, but courts determined Brown's condition -- reportedly a bipolar disorder -- was not serious enough to absolve him of responsibility.
Authorities say Brown abducted Washa at a highway rest area near Seattle, then tortured and raped her at a motel over a 24-hour period before bundling her into the trunk of his car and strangling her.
He flew to California, where he was arrested after assaulting another woman.
During interrogation he confessed to Washa's murder.
Brown's execution is the fifth in the state of Washington since the reinstatement of the death penalty in the United States in 1976.
His death follows by just a few hours the execution of a man in the southern state of Alabama.
Holly Brown, 50, was convicted of shooting his former girlfriend to death in 1993 as she slept.
Their executions bring to 38 the number of people put to death in the United States this year.