1st execution set for Alabama since 2011

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama plans to execute the first person in the state since 2011, when a man convicted in a Halloween night beating and shooting death of an 80-year-old man is put to death Thursday evening.

Andrew Lackey would be the first person executed in Alabama since Christopher T. Johnson on Oct. 20, 2011. Executions in the state have been slowed partly because of a legal dispute over the drugs used. Lackey’s execution by injection is set for 6 p.m. at Holman Prison in Atmore.

Lackey has dropped his appeals and court records show he has not tried to block the execution.

Authorities said Lackey was seeking money when he killed 80-year-old Charles Newman at Newman’s Limestone County home.

Prisons spokesman Brian Corbett said the 30-year-old Lackey has been visited this week by his mother, father, brother and an aunt. Lackey was moved Tuesday afternoon from his cell on death row to a holding cell near the death chamber where he’ll be given the injection.

Officials say nothing has been filed by Lackey or outside attorneys in a last minute attempt to prevent him from being executed.

Bryan Stevenson, an attorney with the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative, said Thursday that nothing has changed “that would stay the execution at this point.” Stevenson said he knew of no last minute appeals planned.

Lackey’s execution was set after he wrote a letter to the Alabama Supreme Court in October saying that he had “an odd request.”

“Please set me an execution date. I do not wish to pursue any further appeals for my death sentence,” Lackey said in the letter to the justices, according to court records. Lackey said he would not file any further appeal

Court records show that Newman made an emergency phone call to the Athens Police Department on Halloween night 2005 in which he could be heard saying, “Don’t do that,” ”Leave me alone” and “What do you want?”

The police operator then heard the assailant repeatedly ask, “Where’s the vault?” according to the records.

Gov. Robert Bentley’s press secretary Jennifer Ardis said Thursday the governor had not received any requests for clemency for Lackey.

Stevenson said both the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals and the trial court have ruled that the state can go ahead with Lackey’s execution.

Stevenson said he and other attorneys opposed to Lackey being executed and “have argued that he is mentally ill” and should be examined to see if he is mentally fit to make the decision to drop his appeals and to request that an execution date be set.

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