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Most of the Missouri Department of Corrections' supply of propofol is headed back to the Louisiana supplier. Supplier Morris and Dickson requested the drugs be returned a year ago and the state says they are complying with the request.

The state's plan to use the anesthetic for executions has come under fire of late. The vast majority of the drug is manufactured in Germany and the European Union is considering export controls if it is used in an execution.

It is unclear what effect the return will have on planned executions--the first scheduled for October 23. The Post-Dispatch reports that the state still has some propofol in stock.

Published in Local News

   A death penalty case in St. Charles County is the first in more than a decade.  

   Sixty-three year old Terry Culberson is accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend, 55 year old Dorothy Hall in the face five times.  Her body was found inside Culberson's O'Fallon, Missouri mobile home on February 5, 2013.  

   St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar says the brutality of the murder was a factor in deciding to ask for the death penalty. "St. Charles County has not requested a death penalty since 2002, so it's a very unique situation," he said.  

   Lohmar says Culberson's past conviction for assault with the intent to kill was also a factor.  A trial date has not yet been set.

 
Published in Local News
Monday, 30 September 2013 13:37

Anesthesiology group raises execution concern

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A group representing Missouri anesthesiologists is urging the state to drop plans to use propofol in an upcoming execution, saying the fallout could jeopardize the availability of the anesthetic for thousands of U.S. hospitals and clinics that rely on it.

The Missouri Society of Anesthesiologists statement on Monday followed an Associated Press report last week citing possible European export controls if propofol is used in a U.S. execution. Missouri is the only state planning to use the drug.

Propofol is far and away the most commonly used anesthetic in the U.S., and around 85 percent of it is made in Europe. The European Union opposes the death penalty and is weighing whether to limit export, raising concerns about a potential U.S. propofol shortage.

Published in Local News

LEBANON, Mo. (AP) — A jury has recommended the death penalty for a man convicted of killing an elderly couple who interrupted a burglary at their south-central Missouri home in July 2010.

The jury that was brought to Laclede County from Franklin County deliberated about four hours Friday afternoon before reaching its recommendation for 33-year-old Jesse Driskill of Lebanon, Missouri.

The same panel convicted Driskill on Wednesday of first-degree murder in the deaths of 82-year-old Johnnie Wilson and 76-year-old Coleen Wilson at their secluded home near Lebanon. Both were shot, and Coleen Wilson was raped before their killer tried to burn their bodies.

Laclede County Circuit Judge Kenneth Hayden will consider the jury's recommendation when he sentences Driskill on November 5th.

Besides murder, Driskill was also convicted of rape, sodomy, burglary and armed criminal action.

Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court's decision to move ahead with two executions this year is being questioned by some death penalty observers and opponents.

The state High Court on Wednesday set execution dates for condemned killers Allen Nicklasson and Joseph Franklin.

Missouri plans to become the first-ever state to use the anesthetic propofol for lethal injection. Propofol was used in the death of pop star Michael Jackson.

States are scrambling because makers of drugs previously used in executions now prohibit their use.

Executions have been on hold in Missouri since the court declined last August to set dates for six inmates.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster applauded the court's decision. But Death Penalty Information Center executive director Richard Dieter says using propofol will essentially be "an experiment with a human subject."

 

Published in Local News

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of a death row inmate who shot a suburban St. Louis police officer.

   The court's 5-2 decision yesterday dealt with Kevin Johnson. He was convicted of fatally shooting Kirkwood Police Sgt. Bill McEntee in 2005.

   Johnson's current attorneys raised about a dozen claims that his original attorneys were ineffective. Among other things, they claimed the presence of numerous uniformed police in the courtroom and halls could have influenced jurors to find Johnson guilty.

   Judge George Draper III rejected that argument in the Supreme Court's majority opinion.

   But judges Patricia Breckenridge and Laura Denvir Stith dissented. They said Johnson's attorneys should have objected to the police presence, and he deserves a hearing on whether he got a fair trial.

 

Published in Local News

   PHOENIX (AP) - Jodi Arias returns to court today as her attorneys ask the judge to vacate the jury's decision that the 2008 killing of her boyfriend was "especially cruel," a finding that allowed the panel to consider the death penalty.

   Arias was convicted of first-degree murder May 8 in the stabbing and shooting death of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. About two weeks later, the same jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on whether to sentence Arias to life in prison or death. While her murder conviction stands, the judge declared a mistrial of the penalty phase.

   Prosecutors say they are preparing to try again for the death penalty with a new jury, but would consider a resolution short of a new trial.

   Arias admitted she killed Alexander, but claimed it was self-defense.

 
Published in National News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- Greene County prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a southwest Missouri teenager charged with killing another teenager.

Gabriel Roche, 18, of Republic, is charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action in the 2011 stabbing death of 17-year-old Weston North, also of Republic. A probable cause statement says North was stabbed and then begged for his life before Roche slit his throat.

The Springfield News-Leader reports (http://sgfnow.co/15pPxQ8 ) that prosecutors have filed their intention to seek the penalty against Roche. Prosecutors say Roche killed North because North was a witness in a felony offense.

Prosecutor Dan Patterson on Friday declined to say what that offense was but earlier court documents say Roche believed North was a "snitch."
Published in Local News
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