MO Statehouse
6:02 pm
Fri December 10, 2010

Execution date set for Mo. inmate Richard Clay

 The Missouri Supreme Court has set an execution date of January 12th for Richard Clay, who was sentenced to death for the 1994 murder of Randy Martindale of New Madrid.

The prosecution argued that Clay was hired to kill Martindale by the victim's wife, Stacey. She was later convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Clay's attorney, Jennifer Herndon, says there is no physical evidence connecting her client to the crime, and that he fled from police because he was in possession of drugs. She also says Clay deserves a new trial.

"We presented all that evidence to the district court, in federal court, at the time, and they gave him a new trial," Herndon said. "Unfortunately, that was taken away by the 8th Circuit (Court of Appeals), but the facts are still there, the evidence of his innocence is still there."

Clay would be the first inmate executed in Missouri in more than a year, and only the second since 2005.

Meanwhile, Herndon is accusing Kenny Hulshof, who represented the state in the case, of being overly zealous.

"The part that he played in misleading the jury and hiding some things from the defense is also notable here, because it's yet another case of his wrongdoing and one that could end pretty tragically," Herndon said.

Hulshof later served as U.S. Congressman for Missouri's 9th District, and was the Republican nominee for Governor in 2008. So far, he has not responded to requests for an interview.