Missouri has executed convicted killer Michael Shane Worthington 16 years after he pled guilty to the 1995 rape and murder of a Lake Saint Louis woman.

Michael Shane Worthington (Courtesy; Missouri Department of Corrections)

Michael Shane Worthington (Courtesy; Missouri Department of Corrections)

6 witnesses for Worthington watched the execution including relatives, his step-mother and a girlfriend, and he never looked away from them.  He was speaking to them when the curtain on the witness rooms opened, and while 5 grams of pentobarbital were administered at 12:01 a.m.  He appeared to quit talking to his family by 12:02 and appeared to quit breathing at 12:03.  The Department of Corrections places the time of death at 12:11.

Worthington died with a Bible on his chest.

Worthington issued a final statement before his execution, including no apology for the crimes.  He said, “Thank you, I will finally get to live in peace with my true Father.  I’ll no longer have to suffer.  It’s really my beloved friends and family that will suffer.  May God forgive those who call this justice.  When in truth, it’s truly about politics and revenge.  Amen and peace to unto you all.”

He is the ninth inmate executed by Missouri since November.

The execution was carried out as scheduled after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider his appeals. Governor Jay Nixon (D) then denied Worthington clemency, allowing the Department of Corrections to carry out the lethal injection.

The execution has drawn additional attention for being the first in the nation since Arizona inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood III took more than 90 minutes to die in an execution there last month. Missouri uses a different, one-drug procedure to carry out lethal injections than the one Arizona used that involved a combination of drugs.

Worthington, who was 43, confessed in 1999 to breaking into the condominium of his neighbor, 24-year-old Melinda “Mindy” Griffin, choking her until she was unconscious, raping her, and when she awoke and fought back, strangling her to death.

On the morning after the murder Worthington was pulled over while driving Griffin’s vehicle.  He was wearing a fanny pack containing jewelry that belonged to Griffin.  He was taken into custody after threatening to commit suicide.

DNA testing of semen found on Griffin’s body also tied Worthington to the crimes.

The facts that he committed the murder in connection with the rape and burglary were considered aggravating factors in his sentencing.

Missouri is next scheduled to execute convicted inmate Leon Taylor September 10, for the 1994 murder of Robert Newton in Independence.

Watch Missourinet.com for more details following the execution of Michael Shane Worthington.

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