ST. LOUIS (AP) – A Missouri execution postponed last month amid debate over the state’s choice of execution drug was rescheduled Friday for Dec. 11.
The Missouri Supreme Court set the new date for the execution of Allen Nicklasson, who was convicted in the 1994 slaying of a good Samaritan, spokeswoman Beth Riggert said. The execution is scheduled for 12:01 a.m. at the prison in Bonne Terre, Mo.
Nicklasson was supposed to be executed Oct. 23, when Missouri planned to use the anesthetic propofol for the first time. The plan drew concerns from the medical community because most of the drug is made in Europe, and the anti-death penalty European Union had threatened to limit export if propofol was used in an execution.
As a result, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon stepped in and halted the execution. Days later, the Missouri Department of Corrections announced a switch to pentobarbital. Pentobarbital is a sedative used as an execution drug by 13 other states.
Nicklasson was convicted of killing Excelsior Springs, Mo., businessman Richard Drummond, who stopped to help when a car used by Nicklasson and two others broke down on Interstate 70. Another man in the car, Dennis Skillicorn, was executed in 2009.
The state previously used a three-drug mix for executions, a practice that came to a halt when makers of the drugs stopped selling them to prisons and corrections departments because they didn’t want them used for lethal injection.
Missouri’s first use of pentobarbital is schedule to take place Nov. 20, when Joseph Paul Franklin is set to die. Franklin has been convicted of several killings and admitted to nearly two dozen more, but is on death row for the sniper shooting of a man outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977.
Jennifer Herndon, the attorney for both Franklin and Nicklasson, said she was surprised by the decision to set a new date for Nicklasson.
“I thought they would wait at least until after the first of the year, and I felt like they might wait and see if Franklin is actually executed,” Herndon said. “There’s certainly a challenge to that, which I believe is really valid.”
The court challenge to Franklin’s execution cites concerns about the use of pentobarbital, particularly Missouri’s plans to use a compounding pharmacy to make the drug, Herndon said.
Messages seeking comment from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office were not immediately returned.
Nicklasson, Skillicorn and Tim DeGraffenreid were driving to Kansas City, Mo., in August 1994, when their 1983 Chevrolet Caprice broke down on I-70 in mid-Missouri, soon after they burglarized a home and stole guns and money. Drummond, a technical support supervisor for AT&T, saw their stalled car and offered to drive the men to a pay phone.
Once in Drummond’s company car, Skillicorn and Nicklasson held a gun to his head and ordered him to drive to a secluded wooded area. Nicklasson shot Drummond twice in the head. His remains were found eight days later.The execution of convicted killer Allen Nicklasson, postponed in the debate over Missouri’s choice of execution drug, has been rescheduled for Dec. 11.
The Missouri Supreme Court set the new date on Friday.
Nicklasson was convicted of the 1994 killing of Excelsior Springs, Mo., businessman Richard Drummond, who stopped to help when a car used by Nicklasson and two others broke down on Interstate 70. Another man in the car, Dennis Skillicorn, was executed in 2009.
Nicklasson was first set to be executed Oct. 23, when Missouri planned to use the anesthetic propofol for the first time. The plan drew concerns because most propofol is made in Europe, and the European Union threatened to limit export if it was used in an execution.
Gov. Jay Nixon stopped the execution.
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