Missouri inmate's stay of execution lifted

Missouri inmate's stay of execution lifted

BONNE TERRE, Mo. (KFVS/AP) - A U.S. Supreme Court justice has issued an order halting the planned execution of a Missouri inmate.

The order was issued late Tuesday night.

The stay of execution for Russell Bucklew was lifted around 10:30 p.m., according to the correctional center.

Bucklew's attorneys were going to petition for an appeal.

Gov. Jay Nixon released a statement on Tuesday about his decision on the petition for clemency for Bucklew.

In the statement, he said:

"After a comprehensive review by my office of the request for clemency from convicted murderer Russell Bucklew, and after a final briefing from my counsel, I have denied this petition. Clemency is a process and a power of the Governor I do not take lightly. Each request is considered and decided on its own merit and set of facts.

Russell Bucklew came to the home of Michael Sanders armed and with the intent to murder him. After storming into the home and fatally shooting Mr. Sanders, Bucklew fired a shot at Sanders' six-year-old son, but missed. Bucklew then continued on a rampage of violence, including the armed kidnapping and rape of his former girlfriend and a shootout with the Missouri State Highway Patrol that left a trooper wounded. The jury in this case properly found that these heinous crimes warranted the death penalty, and my denial of clemency upholds the jury's decision.

I ask that the people of Missouri remember Michael Sanders and keep his family, as well as the other victims of Russell Bucklew's crimes, in their thoughts and prayers."

A federal appeals court had granted a stay of execution earlier Tuesday for Missouri inmate Russell Bucklew, hours before he was scheduled to die for killing a southeast Missouri man in 1996.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday cited concerns about Bucklew's rare medical condition, which raised the risk of "unnecessary pain and suffering by the inmate."

It wasn't immediately clear if the state would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

According to the corrections center, they proceeded as if the execution will happen. They say Bucklew was served his last meal at 4:30 p.m. He had a t-bone steak, apple pie a la mode and a coke.

Bucklew suffers from a rare condition that causes weakened and malformed veins.

It will be the first execution in the nation following a botched lethal injection last month in Oklahoma.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press also contributed to this story.