Saturday, 16 August 2008

Group looks to prevent killer's death

Group looks to prevent killer's death

ST. LOUIS | An anti-death penalty group is asking Gov. Matt Blunt to commute the death sentence for convicted killer Dennis Skillicorn.

Skillicorn, of Kansas City, is scheduled to die by injection on Aug. 27 for the 1994 murder of Richard Drummond. It would be the first execution in Missouri in nearly three years as concerns have been raised about the state’s method of lethal injection.

Skillicorn, now 49, and Allen Nicklasson, 36, were sentenced to death in 1996 for the “Good Samaritan” killing of Drummond, of Excelsior Springs. A third defendant pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to life in prison.

Drummond, 47, stopped to help the three men when their car broke down near Kingdom City, Mo. They took him to a rural area in Lafayette County where he was shot to death.

Skillicorn and Nicklasson left the area in Drummond’s car. Four days later, they killed an Arizona couple. Authorities arrested them a few months later in California.

Skillicorn faced an execution date in 1997, but it was stayed while he pursued appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition to hear his case.

The petition from Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty notes that Skillicorn was not the shooter and was not present when Drummond was shot.

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