Tonight Mississippi carried out the first of two scheduled executions in the state, with the lethal injection of Larry Puckett.
Puckett, 35, was an 18-year-old Eagle Scout when he was charged with the 1995 murder and sexual assault of the wife of his former boss.
According to an article by the Associated Press:
Puckett’s supporters claimed that the woman’s husband killed her in a jealous rage, the victim’s mother said she found Puckett in the home holding an axe handle, which prosecutors said was used in the killing.
“I caught him in her house with the club in his hand,” Nancy Hatten told The Associated Press on Friday. “Her husband wasn’t anywhere on the premises at the time. He drove up later.”
Griffis’ husband found his wife’s battered body in the living room, according to court records. Puckett had worked as a landscaper for Griffis’ husband, and the crime occurred weeks before Puckett was scheduled to leave for basic training with the Navy.
Puckett, who ran from the home, was captured two days later. He confessed to being at the Griffis’ home to burglarize it, but claimed Griffis’ husband killed her, according to court records. Puckett was sentenced to death on Aug. 5, 1996.
Thousands of supporters signed an online petition for Puckett and some rallied at the state Capitol in Jackson Monday, but Gov. Bryant refused to grant a reprieve.
Puckett was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m. at Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman. He spent his final hours visiting with his family and a spiritual adviser. His requested last meal consisted of Macadamia nut pancakes, shrimp and grits, ice cream cake, caramel candy and root beer.
Another Mississippi inmate, William Mitchell, faces execution Thursday. He was convicted in the 1975 raping and killing of Patty Milliken.