SD executes Moeller

SD executes Moeller Click to Enlarge Photo:

Oct 31, 2012 at 6:52 am

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KNSI) A South Dakota inmate was executed Tuesday night for the 1990 rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl who disappeared after leaving her home to buy sugar at a nearby store so she could make lemonade.

Sixty year-old Donald Moeller received a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls, marking South Dakota's second execution this month in an unusual surge for a state that has carried out just two other death sentences since 1913.

Moeller was administered a lethal injection at 10:01 p.m. He took about eight heavy breaths before the breathing stopped. A coroner pronounced him dead at 10:24 p.m.

Moeller kidnapped Becky O'Connell from a Sioux Falls convenience store, where she'd gone to buy sugar to make lemonade at home. He drove her to a secluded area near the Big Sioux River, then raped and stabbed the girl. Her naked body was found the next day; and investigators said her throat had been slashed.

Earlier this month, South Dakota executed Eric Robert, a South Dakota penitentiary inmate who killed a prison guard during a failed escape attempt last year.

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