Missouri inmate Michael Tisius was executed Tuesday evening for shooting and killing two jailers more than two decades ago during a failed attempt to help a pal escape from a rural jail.
Tisius, 42, received a lethal injection of pentobarbital at the state prison in Bonne Terre, and was pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m., authorities said.
He was convicted of the June 22, 2000, killings of Leon Egley and Jason Acton at the small Randolph County Jail.
Michael Tisius, who in 2000 gunned down two prison guards during a failed jailbreak attempt, is scheduled to be executed Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
In his final statement, Tisius wrote that he was “holding tightly” to his faith, and lamented that he couldn’t have “made things right” while still alive.
Tisius’ lawyers had urged the U.S. Supreme Court to block the execution, alleging in appeals that a juror at a sentencing hearing was illiterate, in violation of Missouri law. The court rejected that motion Tuesday afternoon.
The Supreme Court previously turned aside another argument — that Tisius should be spared because he was just 19 at the time of the killings.
A 2005 Supreme Court ruling bars executions of those under 18 when their crime occurred, but attorneys for Tisius had argued that even at 19, when the killings occurred, Tisius should have had his sentence commuted to life in prison without parole.
At trial, Bulington testified that she looked up and saw Tisius with the gun drawn, then watched as he shot and killed Acton. When Egley approached, Tisius shot him, too. Both officers were unarmed.
Tisius found keys at the dispatch area and tried to open Vance’s cell, but couldn’t. When Egley grabbed Bulington’s leg, Tisius shot him several more times.
Tisius’ defense team issued a video last week in which Vance said he planned the escape attempt and manipulated Tisius into participating.
The execution was the 12th in the U.S. this year, and the third in Missouri. Only Texas, with four, has executed more people than Missouri this year.