The State Supreme Court has set an execution date for condemned inmate 45-year-old Russell Bucklew. He is sentenced to die by lethal injection May 21 at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre.
Bucklew was sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of Michael Sanders, who he had assumed to be the new boyfriend of his ex girlfriend. Bucklew shot Sanders in front of Sanders’ 6-year-old son in a jealous rage, then held the gun to his ex’s head. When he saw Sanders’ son he shot at the boy, missing him. He then kidnapped his ex-girlfriend and raped her when she denied his advances. He was caught after a gunfight that left him and a Highway Patrolman wounded.
Bucklew’s attorneys had argued to the Court that he suffers from malformed blood vessels that cause among other things, bleeding from his mouth and eyes, and could increase the risk of a painful or prolonged lethal injection. The state argued that doesn’t merit an indefinite delay in setting his execution date.
The state is next scheduled to carry out the execution of William Rousan on April 23. Rousan was involved in the cattle theft, robbery and murder of a farm couple, Charles and Grace Lewis in rural Bonne Terre in 1993.