St. Louis Public Radio News
5:24 am
Tue April 21, 2009

Lawyers try to delay Missouri's first execution since 2005

Jefferson City, Mo. – The attorney for Dennis Skillicorn is seeking a stay of execution for the man convicted of killing a Missouri man 15 years ago.

The Missouri Supreme Court on Monday set a May 20 execution date for Skillicorn.

Attorney Jennifer Merrigan has asked a federal judge to prohibit Governor Jay Nixon from making a clemency decision, instead deferring to a board of inquiry. In a stay request, she asked the state Supreme Court to postpone scheduling the execution until the federal matter is resolved. Merrigan says the request is based on Nixon's involvement, as attorney general, in blocking her access to Department of Corrections staff witnesses in the earlier clemency attempt.

A spokesman for Nixon did not immediately comment.

Skillicorn is one of three men convicted of killing Richard Drummond of Excelsior Springs in 1994. Drummond was killed after he stopped to help the men after their car broke down on Interstate 70.