Missouri has carried out the execution of Earl Ringo, Junior by lethal injection.  He was pronounced dead at 12:31 a.m.

Earl Ringo (courtesy; Missouri Department of Corrections)

Earl Ringo (courtesy; Missouri Department of Corrections)

Ringo was convicted and sentenced to death in 1999 for the murders of Dennis Poyser and Joanna Baysinger during the robbery of the Ruby Tuesday in Columbia early the morning of July 4, 1998.

Ringo and another man, Quentin Jones, carried out the robbery and Jones murdered Baysinger, but avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty and testifying against Ringo. Jones remains in prison on a life sentence.

Ringo’s attorneys had filed several court appeals but the Supreme Court declined late Tuesday night to stay the execution. Governor Jay Nixon then refused clemency for Ringo, allowing his execution to proceed at 12:01 as scheduled.

One of those appeals cited recent reporting that Missouri administers the sedative midazolam to condemned inmates prior to executions, saying that it could dull an inmate’s senses and prevent them from reporting any pain that might be felt during an execution.

The Corrections Department has said after some of the last 9 executions that the drug, under the trade name Versed, has been offered to inmates prior to executions as a sedative. The Department says the drug is offered to “relieve the offender’s level of anxiety,” and is not part of the execution process.

Missouri uses a one-drug lethal injection protocol using five grams of pentobarbital.

Missourinet News Director Bob Priddy is at the prison on Bonne Terre where he has witnessed the execution of Earl Ringo, Jr. Watch for updates on this story later this morning.