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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Three Executions: Say Goodbye to Edward Harold Schad, Ronald Clinton Lott, and Allen Nicklasson

Edward Harold Schad
     In 1968, 42-year-old Edward Harold Schad strangled a male sex partner to death in Utah. Ten years later, on August 9, 1978, the paroled killer carjacked Lorimer Grove's Cadillac in Bisbee, Arizona. Police discovered Grove's body along a highway near Prescott, Arizona with a sash-like cord knotted around his neck. 
     After he murdered Mr. Grove, Schad drove around the country in the stolen Cadillac cashing forged checks drawn on the dead man's bank account. Schad also made purchases with the victim's credit cards. A year later a jury found Schad guilty of first-degee murder. A judge sentenced him to death.
    At ten in the morning of Wednesday, October 9, 2013, at the Arizona State Prison at Florence, the oldest man on the state's death row received his lethal dose of pentobarbital. When the warden asked the 71-year-old if he had any last words, Schad said, "Well, after 34 years [on death row], I'm free to fly away home. Thank you, Warden. Those are my last words." 
     In Arizona, 121 death row inmates await their executions. Two of the condemned prisoners are women. Since supplies of pentobarbital are limited, I wonder if the state has enough of this lethal drug to carry out its execution mandate. 
Ronald Clinton Lott
     On September 2, 1986, 26-year-old Ronald Clinton Lott broke into 83-year-old Anna Laura Fowler's home in Oklahoma City. The intruder beat, raped, and strangled the old woman to death. On January 11, 1987, Lott broke into the home across the street from his first victim's dwelling. In that house he tortured, raped, and murdered 93-year-old Zelma Cutler. 
     A jury in Oklahoma City found Ronald Lott guilty of two counts of first-degree murder. The judge sentenced him to death. 
     At 6:06 in the evening of Tuesday, December 10, 2013, the executioner at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, administered Lott's lethal injection. The 53-year-old had no last words. Lott was the fifth Oklahoma prisoner to be put to death in 2013. 
Allen Nicklasson
     In August 1994, 22-year-old Allen Nicklasson met a convicted killer named Dennis Skillicorn at a drug rehabilitation center in Kansas City, Missouri. On August 22, 1994, Nicklasson, Skillicorn, and a third man, Tim De Graffenreid, decided to drive across the state to St. Louis where they planned to buy drugs. En route, Nicklasson's 1883 Chevrolet Caprice broke down on Interstate 70 near Kingdom City, Missouri. The next day, after a local mechanic worked on the car, the trio of violent losers got back on the road despite the mechanic's warning that the repairs had been temporary. Not long after resuming the trip, the Chevy broke down again.
     On August 23, Richard Drummond spotted the three stranded motorists standing alone I-70 next to the disabled Chevy. The 47-year-old AT & T supervisor pulled off the highway to help. When Mr. Drummond got out of his Dodge Intrepid, Nicklasson put a gun to his head and took him hostage. 
      Nicklasson ordered Drummond to drive the Dodge to a secluded place where Nicklasson shot the good samaritan execution style in the back of the head. (The victim's body was found eight days later.) Years later, in recalling the moment he killed Drummond, Nicklasson said, "I felt euphoria. I finally got back for all the beatings I took as a child." 
     Two days after he murdered Richard Drummond, Nicklasson, with his two degenerate friends in the dead man's car, drove to Arizona where, in the desert, the Dodge broke down. The three men walked in the desert until they came upon a house occupied by Joseph and Charlene Babcock. Once inside the dwelling, Nicklasson shot Charlene to death and forced her husband to drive the killers back to the broken down Dodge. It was there Nicklasson murdered Mr. Babcock and stole his car. 
     The three fugitives were caught shortly after the murders by police officers in Arizona. After being found guilty in that state of murdering Mr. and Mrs. Babcock, a judge sentenced Nicklasson to life in prison. Tim De Graffenreid, in return for his guilty plea and cooperation with the authorities, received life sentences in Arizona and later in Missouri. 
     In Missouri, following his conviction for the cold-blooded murder of Richard Drummond, a judge sent Nicklasson to death row. Another Missouri judge sentenced Dennis Skillicorn to death. In 2009 they executed Skillicorn for his role in the Drummond murder. 
     Allen Nicklasson's time finally came at 10:52 in the morning of December 11, 2013. The executioner at the Missouri State Prison in Bonne Terre injected the 41-year-old killer with enough pentobarbital to stop his heart. This murderer of three innocent, helpless people had no last words. What could he say? 

     

    

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