The Missouri Supreme Court has scheduled a March 20th execution date for convicted killer Russell Bucklew.
Bucklew, 49, has been sentenced to die by lethal injection at the state prison in eastern Missouri’s Bonne Terre.
Bucklew was convicted of first degree murder for the gruesome 1996 killing of his estranged girlfriend’s new boyfriend, Michael Sanders.
Court testimony indicates Bucklew knocked on Sanders’ door in Cape Girardeau County, yelled “get down” and without further warning began shooting at Sanders, who was struck by two bullets and bled to death.
Bucklew is currently incarcerated at the maximum-security Potosi Correctional Center (PCC) in Mineral Point.
He was also convicted of forcible rape and kidnapping, involving his former girlfriend. Prosecutors say Bucklew kidnapped and raped the victim, after Sanders was shot.
Bucklew was captured after a gun battle with Missouri state troopers. A trooper and Bucklew were both wounded during the shootout.
The “Southeast Missourian” newspaper reports Bucklew suffers from tumors in his nose and throat, and that his attorney believes lethal injection is an unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment.
The newspaper also quotes former Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor Morley Swingle as saying Bucklew is “the most evil person I’ve ever prosecuted.”
There was one execution in Missouri in 2017.
Convicted killer Mark Christeson was executed by lethal injection in Bonne Terre on January 31.