The Supreme Court has issued an execution date for Herbert Smulls, 56, who was sentenced to death for the 1991 shooting of Stephen and Florence Honickman at a St. Louis County jewelry store they owned and operated. The Supreme Court has issued an execution warrant, allowing the state to execute Smulls by lethal injection Jan. 29, 2014.
Typically, customers would make an appointment with the Honickmans to examine jewelry for sale. In July, 1991, a person identifying himself as Jeffrey Taylor called the Honickmans and made an appointment to buy a diamond. “Jeffrey Taylor” was later identified as Herbert Smulls.
July 22, 1991, Smulls and Norman Brown went to the Honickmans’ store. After viewing several diamonds, Smulls and Brown left the store without making a purchase.
On the afternoon of July 27, 1991, Smulls and Brown followed another customer into the store. Florence Honickman was unable to show any jewelry at that time but suggested she might be able to help them later.
Smulls and Brown returned to the store that evening. After viewing some diamonds, Smulls and Brown went into a hallway, purportedly to discuss the diamond prices. A short time later, Florence looked up and saw Smulls aiming a pistol at her. She then ran and hid behind a door. Smulls fired three shots at her, striking her arm and side. Smulls then fired several shots at Stephen Honickman, who was struck three times. Smulls and Brown stole jewelry worn by Florence as she lie on the floor with serious injuries, and then took other items in the store.
After the two men fled, Florence called police. Stephen died from his wounds; Florence suffered permanent injuries from the attack.
Brown remains in prison on two life sentences without the possibility of parole, plus 90 years. Brown is 37 years old.