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Missouri Set to Execute Man Tonight

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(file photo)

By AP/KWMU

Potosi, MO – The state of Missouri is scheduled to execute John Clayton Smith after midnight Wednesday. Smith says he's ready to die and has dropped all of his appeals.

He was convicted of killing his former girlfriend and her stepfather in 1997; he's scheduled to be put to death just after midnight at the state prison in Potosi.

Unless he changes his mind or Governor Holden intervenes, the execution by lethal injection will proceed. Clemency requests on Smith's behalf have been filed with the governor's office by the Missouri Catholic Conference and public defender Gary Brotherton.

Smith declined an interview Monday. Brandie Kearnes was Smith's 22-year-old former girlfriend, Her stepfather Wayne Hoewing also died on July 5, 1997, at their
home near Canton, a Mississippi River town about 30 miles south of the Iowa border.

The woman's infant daughter was found unharmed at her feet.

More than two years ago Smith told a judge he was "totally guilty," very sorry for what he'd done and ready to die for it.

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