Missouri executes man after appeals denied

Convicted killer Herbert Smulls was executed at 10:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Updated Thursday Jan. 30, 11:14 EST

BONNE TERRE, Mo. – A day after receiving a stay of execution from the Supreme Court, a man has been executed in Missouri’s third lethal injection in as many months.

Herbert Smulls, 56, was convicted and sentenced to death for killing Stephen Honickman, a jeweler, during a 1991 robbery in St. Louis.

He had been scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, but a temporary stay issued late Tuesday by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito delayed the execution.

On Wednesday, Smulls’ attorney filed numerous appeals questioning the secretive nature of how the state obtains its execution drug, but all were denied by the high court.

The final appeal was filed less than 30 minutes before Smulls was pronounced dead, at 10:20 p.m., although the denial came about 30 minutes after his death.   When asked about the time between the appeal and the execution, Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman Mike O'Connell said, "I'm not familiar with that."

Smulls was pronounced dead nine minutes after the start of the execution process.