Missouri inmate John Middleton was executed on July 16, 2014. His execution for the murders of Alfred Pinegar, Randy Hamilton and Stacey Hodge in Northwest Missouri in 1995 was scheduled to have happened at 12:01 Wednesday morning but was delayed through the day by various court filings.
He died peacefully at 7:06 p.m., strapped to a gurney in the Bonne Terre prison’s death chamber after a frantic two-day effort by his attorneys to save his life.
"You are killing an innocent man,” he said in his last statement.
Middleton barely moved as the lethal injection of pentobarbital was administered, turning his head slightly to the right after looking toward three members of his family when the curtains on the execution chambers windows were opened. He showed no signs of distress or discomfort.
“Nineteen years seems like a long time to wait for justice,” said Michael Black, an uncle of Alfred Pinegar, after the execution, “It’s a lifetime for a little girl who had to grow up without her father…Our family has waited all this time, never forgetting that our son, grandson, uncle, nephew, father and best friend is not with us.”
“In those 19 years, we, as a family, have had to live with the thoughts of John Middleton being able to enjoy a meal, the smell of spring in the air or any number of simple pleasures,” he continued, “These are things that Alfred, Randy and Stacey cannot enjoy . These simple things we cannot share with Alfred.”
Black said he can go to Pinegar’s grave “and tell him it’s done now; he has finally been punished for his crimes.”
Middleton, a methamphetamine user and dealer in northwest Missouri, murdered the three, considering them “snitches” who had informed law enforcement about his meth dealings.
An analysis of crime and punishment from the perspective of a former prosecutor and current criminal justice practitioner.
The views expressed on this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or postions of any county, state or federal agency.