You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Justice Department schedules 2 additional federal executions
AP

Justice Department schedules 2 additional federal executions

  • Updated
  • 0
Only $5 for 5 months
Justice Department schedules 2 additional federal executions

FILE - In this July 17, 2020, file photo the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Ind., is shown. The Justice Department scheduled two additional federal executions on Friday, July 31, an announcement that comes weeks after it fought off last-minute legal challenges and successfully resumed federal executions following a 17-year pause.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department scheduled two additional federal executions on Friday, an announcement that comes weeks after it fought off last-minute legal challenges and successfully resumed federal executions following a 17-year pause.

The executions of Christopher Andre Vialva and William Emmett LeCroy are both scheduled to be carried out in late September. The government carried out three executions in July, and two other executions had been set previously for August.

Vialva, 40, was convicted along with a co-defendant in the 1999 kidnapping and killing of an Iowa couple at Fort Hood in Texas. The youth ministers had stopped to use a payphone in Killeen, Texas, and agreed to give Vialva and two others a ride, authorities said. Vialva pulled out a gun, forced the couple into the trunk and drove around for several hours, stopping at ATMs to withdraw cash and attempting to pawn the woman’s wedding ring, according to prosecutors.

The victims, Todd and Stacie Bagley, were both shot in head and placed in trunk of their car, which then was set afire. Vialva -- who is the first Black inmate to be scheduled to be executed since the federal government resumed the death penalty this year -- is scheduled to be executed on Sept. 24. A co-defendant in the case, Brandon Bernard, also received death sentence, though his execution date has not yet been scheduled.

LeCroy, 50, of Georgia, was convicted of raping and killing Joann Lee Tiesler, a 30-year-old nurse, in 2001 and then stealing her car. Prosecutors said he broke into her home and attacked her when she came home from a shopping trip, binding her hands behind her back before he strangled her with an electrical cord and raped her. They said he then slit Tiesler’s throat and stabbed her repeatedly in the back.

At the time, one of LeCroy’s lawyers argued he should face state charges and not be tried in federal court under the federal carjacking statute. LeCroy's lawyers said he had no intention of stealing the car when he was burglarizing Tiesler’s home. He was arrested at the U.S.-Canada border and was previously convicted of firearms and drug offenses, burglary, aggravated assault and child sex abuse charges.

LeCroy is scheduled to be executed on September 26.

The resumption of federal executions by lethal injection at a prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, started on July 14, with the execution of former white supremacist Daniel Lewis Lee. Two others, Wesley Purkey and Dustin Honken, were executed later the same week.

Anti-death penalty groups say President Donald Trump is pushing for executions prior to the November election in a cynical bid to burnish a reputation a law-and-order leader.

U.S. officials have portrayed the executions, particularly those of men convicted of brutal killings of children, as bringing long-delayed justice for victims and their families. There are currently 58 men and one woman on federal death row, all of them in Terre Haute.

At least until this year, the federal government has not been prolific executioner compared to states.

Combined, states have executed thousands of people over decades. But just 37 were executed for federal crimes between 1927 and 2003, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Thirty-four were executed between 1927 and 1963, including Julius and Ethel Rosenberg — put to death in 1953 for passing nuclear secrets to the Soviets.

No federal executions were carried out from 1963 to 2001. And only three happened from 2001 to 2003. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was among them.

The Justice Department announced an Aug. 26 execution date for the only Native American on federal death row, Lezmond Mitchell, earlier this week. Officials had previously set Keith Dwayne Nelson’s execution for the same week in August.

Mitchell was convicted of the 2001 killing of a woman and her 9-year-old granddaughter. Nelson was convicted of kidnapping a 10-year-old girl while she was rollerblading near her Kansas home, raping her in a forest, then strangling her.

Lee, Purkey and Honken’s victims also included children.

———

Tarm reported from Chicago

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Get Government & Politics updates in your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

  • Updated

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Washoe County School Board began approving money on Tuesday it will need to reopen schools for students in the Reno-Sparks area and safely instruct them in the months ahead amid growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eastman Kodak will receive a federal loan of $765 million to help reduce reliance on other countries for ingredients in generic drugs, an agreement President Donald Trump hailed Tuesday as a breakthrough in bringing more pharmaceutical manufacturing to the United States.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News