The family of the man Leon Taylor murdered says today, the day of Taylor’s execution, is their day.
Robert Newton’s brother Dennis Smith was among those who watched Missouri execute Leon Taylor by lethal injection early this morning at the prison in Bonne Terre.
In an emotional statement to the media following the execution, Smith said after more than 20 years he still misses his brother.
“He had one laugh that would just make your day if you heard him. That’s what I remember most about him,” Smith said.
When Smith was too overcome to read the whole statement, Newton’s niece Edna Stone, took over. It describes her uncle as a kind, fun-loving, generous man, devoted to his wife and nurturing to his children.
“We lost him one spring day while he worked his shift at a convenience store when a coward came in to rob the store,” Stone read.
Smith said his family has been robbed of Newton, of him getting to see his children grow up and to meet his grandchildren. He said since his brother’s death, Taylor had been lying in a bed, getting three meals a day and having access to a library and cable TV.
He added that if his statement sounds bitter, it is.
“He was my big brother.”