Governor Jay Nixon (D) has denied clemency for a man scheduled to be executed this evening for the 2002 murders of three people, including a Dent County Sheriff’s Deputy.

Governor Jay Nixon (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Governor Jay Nixon (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Earl Forrest is scheduled to die by lethal injection at the state prison in Bonne Terre between 6 p.m. Wednesday and 5:59 p.m. Thursday. In a statement announcing clemency had been denied, Nixon recalled the crimes Forrest was convicted for.

“Earl Forrest was convicted by a jury of murdering three people and sentenced to death on each count. Among his victims was Dent County Chief Deputy Sheriff Joann Barnes, whom Forrest killed after he had already murdered Harriett Smith and Michael Wells. During the shootout with law enforcement officers, Forrest also shot and wounded then-Dent County Sheriff Bob Wofford. My decision today upholds the decision handed down by the jury and upheld by the state and federal courts.

“As preparations are made to carry out the sentence, I ask that Missourians remember Chief Deputy Barnes, Harriett Smith and Michael Wells at this time and keep their families in their thoughts and prayers,” wrote Nixon.

Forrest’s attorneys have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the death penalty is unconstitutional. The Court has not responded to the appeal.