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Missouri Executes John Clayton Smith


Potosi, MO – The state of Missouri executed John Clayton Smith early Wednesday morning.

Smith killed his ex-girlfriend and her stepfather in northeast Missouri in 1997.

The 42-year-old was pronounced dead by Department of Corrections officials minutes after a series of injections at the Potosi Correctional Center.

Smith mouthed the words "I'm sorry" to reporters and state witnesses and again to witnesses

He was sentenced to die for the July 1997 murders of ex-girlfriend Brandie Kearns and her stepfather, Wayne Hoewing, in their Canton home.

Kearnes was stabbed eight times and Hoewing eleven times. Before dying, Kearns used her own blood to scrawl most of Smith's first name on her kitchen floor.

Smith did not appeal, although paperwork was available to him. He had previously said he was ready to die.


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