"Convicted killer Middleton executed in Missouri after appeals fail," is the updated AP report, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
A former methamphetamine dealer was executed Wednesday for killing three people in remote northern Missouri out of fear that they would report his drug activity to police.
John Middleton, 54, died Wednesday night from an injection of pentobarbital, the sixth execution in Missouri this year. Only Florida and Texas, with seven each, have performed more executions.
Middleton was convicted of killing Randy “Happy” Hamilton and Stacey Hodge in early June 1995, then Alfred Pinegar several days later. He maintained to the end that someone else was responsible for the slayings.
“You are killing an innocent man,” Middleton said in his final statement.
Concerns about whether Middleton was mentally fit for execution, though, spurred a long delay in the execution, which occurred 19 hours after it was originally scheduled, at 12:01 a.m.
There have been 25 executions in American death penalty states this year; a total of 1,384 post-Furman executions since 1977.
Earlier coverage of John Middleton's case begins at the link.