Man Who Killed Four ExecutedBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 10 May 2011 10:38am |
The man convicted of killing four people, including his ex-wife her husband and two children, in a 1998 shooting rampage is dead. Benny Joe Stevens was executed by the state of Mississippi last night in Parchman. MPB’s Jeffrey Hess witnessed the execution and files this report.
Benny Joe Stevens had long claimed to not remember shooting and killing four people and wounding a fifth, his daughter.
But department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps says shortly before Tuesday’s execution, Stevens confessed….
“He said, ‘none of them deserved what I did. I am sorry’ So he finally come forward and appeared to be sincere,” Epps said.
Stevens had a heavy grey beard, wore a red jumpsuit and thick glasses. He was strapped to the injection gurney with his arms spread. For his final words his said what he did was terrible and there was no way to replace what he had taken from the victims and God. He told them, quote “Don’t let me take anything else from you. I am not worth it. That’s it.”
The chamber microphone was turned off, and Stevens prayed until the lethal injection drugs flowed into his body and killed him.
Following the execution…Kathy Pounds, the mother of one of the young boys killed, says they are celebrating their son’s life not the death of Stevens.
“Heath was our ray of sunshine and our hearts are still broken. We will always hurt for the loss of our son, brother, cousin and friend. Nothing will ever fix the hole left in our hearts by his death. Heath will always be in our hearts. We love you Heath and we will miss you every day. So fly high, Heath," Pounds said.
Stevens daughter Erica Stevens, who was wounded the attack, also witnessed her father’s execution.
A small group of anti-death penalty protestors sat outside the prison. Sheila O’Flaherty has protested every execution since 1983.
"I am not saying it is not a heinous crime. But just because of the worst things we do, it still does not give Mississippi the right to kill somebody," O'Flaherty said.
Mississippi has been using lethal injection since 1998, but this was the first execution with a new combination of drugs.
DOC officials say the execution went as planned.
The next execution is set for next Tuesday at Parchman
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