Missouri inmate executed for killing 2 jailers, has last meal of bacon cheeseburgers, fries, chocolate shake

Michael Tisius received a lethal injection of pentobarbital at the state prison in Bonne Terre

Missouri inmate Michael Tisius was executed Tuesday evening for shooting and killing two jailers more than two decades ago during a failed attempt to help a pal escape from a rural jail. 

Tisius, 42, received a lethal injection of pentobarbital at the state prison in Bonne Terre, and was pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m., authorities said. 

He was convicted of the June 22, 2000, killings of Leon Egley and Jason Acton at the small Randolph County Jail.

Michael Tisius

Michael Tisius, who in 2000 gunned down two prison guards during a failed jailbreak attempt, is scheduled to be executed Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

In his final statement, Tisius wrote that he was "holding tightly" to his faith, and lamented that he couldn’t have "made things right" while still alive. 

"I really did try to become a better man. I really tried hard to give as much as I could to as many as I could," Tisius said. "I tried to forgive others as I wish to be forgiven. And I pray that God will forgive those who condemn me. Just as He forgave those who condemned Him. I am sorry. And not because I am at the end. But because I truly am sorry." 

Michael Tisius

Michael Tisius' last statement.  (Missouri Department of Corrections via AP)

Tisius’ last meal consisted of two bacon cheeseburgers, curly fries, regular fries, and a chocolate shake, a Missouri Department of Corrections spokesperson confirmed. 


Tisius' lawyers had urged the U.S. Supreme Court to block the execution, alleging in appeals that a juror at a sentencing hearing was illiterate, in violation of Missouri law. The court rejected that motion Tuesday afternoon.

The Supreme Court previously turned aside another argument — that Tisius should be spared because he was just 19 at the time of the killings.

A 2005 Supreme Court ruling bars executions of those under 18 when their crime occurred, but attorneys for Tisius had argued that even at 19, when the killings occurred, Tisius should have had his sentence commuted to life in prison without parole.

Advocates for Tisius had said he was largely neglected as a child and was homeless by his early teens. His path to the death chamber began in 1999 when, as an 18-year-old, he was jailed on a misdemeanor charge of pawning a rented stereo system.
Michael Tisius

This booking photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections shows Michael Tisius. (Missouri Department of Corrections via AP)

In June 2000, Tisius was housed on the misdemeanor charge at the same county jail in Huntsville with inmate Roy Vance. Tisius was about to be released, and court records show the men discussed a plan in which Tisius, once he was out, would help Vance escape.

Just after midnight on June 22, 2000, Tisius went to the jail accompanied by Vance's girlfriend, Tracie Bulington. They told Egley and Acton that they were there to deliver cigarettes to Vance. The jailers didn't know that Tisius had a pistol.

At trial, Bulington testified that she looked up and saw Tisius with the gun drawn, then watched as he shot and killed Acton. When Egley approached, Tisius shot him, too. Both officers were unarmed.


Tisius found keys at the dispatch area and tried to open Vance's cell, but couldn't. When Egley grabbed Bulington's leg, Tisius shot him several more times.

Tisius and Bulington fled, but their car broke down later that day in Kansas. They were arrested in Wathena, Kansas, about 130 miles west of Huntsville. Tisius confessed to the crimes.

Bulington and Vance are serving life sentences on murder convictions.

Defense attorneys have argued that the killings were not premeditated. Tisius, they said, intended to order the jailers into a holding cell and free Vance and other inmates. 

Tisius' defense team issued a video last week in which Vance said he planned the escape attempt and manipulated Tisius into participating.

The execution was the 12th in the U.S. this year, and the third in Missouri. Only Texas, with four, has executed more people than Missouri this year.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.