St. Louis Public Radio News
1:10 pm
Wed February 5, 2003

Missouri Executes Kenneth Kenley

Potosi, Mo. – The state of Missouri executed its first prisoner of the year last night. Kenneth Kenley was sentenced to die after killing a man in a Poplar Bluff tavern in 1984.

Department of Corrections spokesman Tim Kniest said Kenley died at 12:03 a.m., two minutes after the first of three injections were administered at the Potosi Correctional Center.

Kenley's final statement was: "Tell Amy 'I love you.' And Ronnie and Darla, 'I love you.' When I see Amy again, tell her she
is my love." His relationship to those people was unclear.

Kniest said the three were among the witnesses Henley selected to attend his death.

The 42-year-old was ordered to die after he killed Ronald Felts in 1984. Kenley shot Felts in the head during a holdup of a rural Poplar Bluff tavern, where the 27-year-old victim was playing pool with friends. Kenley wounded two other people the same night.