Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mississippi Executes Man for 1994 KIliing

The 17th Execution of 2011

On May 17, 2011, the state of Mississippi executed Rodney F. Gray for the 1994 kidnapping, robbery and murder of an elderly woman, reported UPI. Gray was convicted of killing 79-year-old Grace Blackwell. Blackwell's body was found at the end of a bridge in rural Jasper County.

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported Gray was pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m. at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman.

The condemned man shook his head when asked if he wanted to make a last statement, the newspaper said.

Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps told reporters shortly before the execution Gray steadfastly maintained he was not guilty of the crimes that led to his death sentence. The lead prosecutor in the case has said the evidence left no doubt about Gray's guilt, reported the Clarion-Ledger.

Epps said Gray made at least two phone calls on his last day, one to a friend and another to his spiritual adviser. His mother visited with him for 2 hours during the afternoon. Two of his attorneys and prison Chaplain Willie Bays also spent time with him, reported UPI.

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