Crime

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Four inmates sit on South Dakota’s death row now that convicted murderer Eric Robert is dead after Monday night’s lethal injection. All inmates who face the death penalty get an opportunity to speak last words.

At one minute after 10 p.m. Monday night in the execution chamber, South Dakota State Penitentiary Warden Doug Weber asked Eric Robert if he had any last words.

Robert replied, “In the name of justice and liberty and mercy, I authorize and forgive Warden Douglas Weber to execute me for my crimes. It is done.”

Kealey Bultena

Family members of murder victim Ronald "RJ" Johnson witnessed Eric Robert’s execution by lethal injection.

Johnson’s widow Lynette says her family knows the perpetrator’s death doesn’t bring back the husband, father, and grandfather taken from them on his birthday in April of last year.

"But we do know that the employees of the Department of Corrections and the public in general will be just a little bit safer now," she says. "We need to have more attention focused on the safety of all correctional officers in the state of South Dakota."

A man convicted of a murder that happened less than two years ago is dead following South Dakota’s first execution in five years.

Last fall, prison inmate Eric Robert was found guilty of killing a corrections officer at the state penitentiary in April of 2011. Monday night, prison staff injected pentobarbital into Robert’s body to kill him.

Michael Winder with the South Dakota Department of Corrections says the lethal injection began at 10:01 p.m.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

At 10 p.m. Monday, one of South Dakota’s death row inmates faces execution. Eric Robert is scheduled to die by lethal injection at the South Dakota State Penitentiary for killing a corrections officer less than two years ago. Although he has appeal available, Robert has never denied his role in the killing and says he won’t fight the penalty.  criminal and legal path to his execution.

SDPB

A South Dakota death row inmate faces lethal injection Monday night. Eric Robert is scheduled to die at 10 p.m. for his role in killing a corrections officer during a failed escape attempt from the state penitentiary. 

Until his death, convicted murderer Eric Robert is in a holding cell, feet away from the execution room where he will die. Robert admitted to beating South Dakota State Penitentiary correctional officer RJ Johnson while he and a fellow inmate tried to escape in April 2011.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A longtime death row inmate has ended his court battle to delay his execution. Wednesday a federal judge accepted Donald Moeller’s request to throw out his challenge to South Dakota’s lethal injection protocol. That leaves him no options to appeal his death sentence. That’s scheduled for sometime during the week of October 28th.

It’s been more than 22 years since Donald Moeller raped and killed a 9-year-old girl. In October’s federal court hearing, the death row inmate admitted his guilt. 

A convicted murderer who denied any involvement for two decades now says his killed a little girl. In Thursday’s federal court case challenging South Dakota’s method of lethal injection, Donald Moeller himself answered questions aloud in his last action to avoid the death penalty.

A federal court hearing on South Dakota’s death penalty protocol moves forward Thursday, and the death row inmate involved must be in court.

Earlier this week, an attorney representing convicted child killer Donald Moeller filed paperwork asking a judge to dismiss the case. But attorneys may still argue about South Dakota’s lethal injection method.

Kealey Bultena

Sioux Falls police have released details of Tuesday afternoon’s deadly shooting. Police say gunman 38-year-old Tyrone Smith spent Sunday night in jail after strangling a woman at their home. She got a protection order against him for herself and their children. But Smith violated the order on Tuesday and killed a woman.

Sioux Falls authorities say Smith showed up at his children’s babysitter’s home on Tuesday afternoon, even though he wasn’t supposed to be near the kids. He showed the babysitter a gun, tied her to a chair and took the children. They’re both under the age of two.

Kealey Bultena

Two people are dead after a gunman shot a woman in Sioux Falls and later turned the gun on himself. Police say Amanda Connors died after the man shot her while she was inside a car in a strip mall parking lot on 41st street. Police haven’t released the name of the suspect, but they confirm he is dead. 

Sioux Falls police say a gunman took his two children from their babysitter at gunpoint, then wound up at a Sioux Falls Cost Cutters where the children’s mother works. Sergeant Loren McManus says another employee, Connors, died after the man shot her in the parking lot. 

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