A man who investigated the murder of a 15-year-old girl in Kansas City in 1989 says the second execution of one of her killers has taken too long in coming.
It’s been more than 26 years since Ann Harrison was abducted while waiting for her school bus, raped, fatally stabbed, and left in the trunk of a stolen car to die. Six months later a tip led authorities to Michael Taylor, and he led them to his accomplice, Roderick Nunley.
Nunley’s execution is scheduled to happen Tuesday night at the state prison in Bonne Terre. Retired Kansas City Police detective Pete Edlund’s squad investigated the case.
“They’re finally getting around to executing Roderick Nunley after they executed Michael Taylor last year,” said Edlund.
He thinks it’s taken too long for that sentence to be carried out.
“They admit they did it. The fact that we have to draw this out at ad infinitum for years and years and years is a real travesty of real justice,” said Edlund.
He said Harrison’s one of the cases he’ll never forget, in part because he knew her family. Her father and uncle were in law enforcement.
“He parents and her sister are the nicest, sweetest people you could ever hope to meet,” said Edlund. “They are so kind, so giving.”
Edlund said when Taylor and Nunley confessed to killing Harrison, they bragged about the crimes. Nunley, he said, was angry with Taylor, accusing him of taking too much credit.
“He resented the fact that Michael Taylor was taking credit for leading the two of them to commit this crime, versus, in reality, Roderick was the one,” said Edlund.
Nunley’s attorneys are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution arguing that it would violate his constitutional rights and that he is entitled to sentencing by a jury. His conviction and sentencing were handed down by a judge.
If those and any other appeals are unsuccessful, and if Governor Jay Nixon (D) declines to grant clemency, Nunley will be executed by lethal injection between 6 p.m. Tuesday and 5:59 p.m. Wednesday.