A flury of legal activity gave Vernon Brown two-and-a-half more hours, but failed to stop his execution at the Bonne Terre prison. Brown was prepared to enter the execution chamber, when the US Supreme Court ordered a stay of execution while it could consider last minute arguments filed by his lawyers. The stay was lifted and the execution proceeded at 2:30am Wednesday. Brown was pronounced dead by lethal injection at 2:35am. Brown first said he had suffered PCP-induced blackouts and couldn’t recall what happened on October 24, 1986. But his story began unraveling with the testimony of his stepsons, physical evidence and finally, his own statements, which all pointed to him as the murderer of 9-year-old Janet Perkins. Brown enticed Perkins into his house as she walked back from her school in north St. Louis. He locked his two stepsons in their bedroom, took Janet to the basement, bound her two feet and one hand with a wire hanger and forced her into a crouched position. Brown then strangled her to death with a rope. Police officers found Janet’s body in two trash bags in an alley behind Brown’s house the next day. Brown confessed, then confessed to killing Synetta Ford the year before.
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