Thursday, June 11, 2015

Missouri executes killer of girlfriend and her daughter

The 16th execution of 2015
The state of Missouri executed Richard Strong convicted of fatally stabbing his girlfriend and her 2-year-old daughter almost 15 years ago, reported Reuters.
Strong, 48, was put to death by lethal injection at the state's death chamber in Bonne Terre, Missouri, where he was pronounced dead on June 9, 2015 at 6:58 p.m., said prison spokesman Mike O'Connell. Strong was the fourth person executed in Missouri in 2015.
According to court records, Strong had dark red stains on the knees of his pants and was sweating profusely when police responded to a 911 call at his girlfriend's home near St. Louis in October 2000.
An officer kicked in the door after seeing what appeared to be blood on Strong's hand. Strong ran, repeatedly shouting: "Just shoot me" and then: "I killed them" when he was captured moments later, according to court papers.
Authorities found the bodies of Eva Washington and Zandrea Thomas, who had been stabbed nine and 21 times, respectively.
Strong's 3-month-old daughter with Washington, Alyshia Strong, was unharmed. Alyshia Strong, now a teenager, asked Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to grant her father clemency, saying it would be wrong for her to suffer another loss.
Nixon rejected the request on Tuesday, saying in a statement that the killings of Washington and Thomas "were very brutal."
The U.S. Supreme Court also denied requests to stay Strong's execution on Tuesday.
Strong's attorneys had said in appeals to the Supreme Court that he had a history of mental illness and major depression and did not have the capacity to make a rational decision when he committed the killings.
They also sought a stay based on a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that challenges the use of a particular drug in lethal injections and have argued that Missouri's execution method posed a substantial risk of causing severe and unacceptable pain and suffering.
Missouri prosecutors said in court filings opposing a stay that the state had carried out "uniformly rapid and painless executions on almost a monthly basis using pentobarbital as the lethal chemical since November 2013."
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