ST. CHARLES, MO (KPLR) – A man convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering a St. Charles teenager more than 25 years ago was executed early Wednesday morning in Bonne Terre, Missouri.
It was Missouri’s fifth execution in five months.
Jeffrey Ferguson, 59, was executed by lethal injection at 12:01am after all of his court appeals were denied.
Governor Nixon had denied clemency earlier in the day.
Ferguson was pronounced dead at 12:11am.
The victim in this case, Kelli Hall, 17, was working at a gas station on Fifth Street in St. Charles in February 1989 when the horrible crime happened.
Her frozen body was found 13 days later in the Missouri River bottoms in Maryland Heights.
Ferguson was convicted and sentenced to death in 1995.
Another man, Kenneth Ousley, was also convicted. He remains behind bars.
Kelli’s father, Jim Hall, spoke after the execution, at one point holding up a picture of his daughter.
He said the execution happened 301 months to the day after Kelli was buried and that Ferguson went through only an 'iota' of the pain that his daughter experienced.
In a final written statement, Ferguson said he was at peace and that he prayed for Kelli’s family to have peace in their hearts one day.
He also said he was sorry to be the cause that brought them to the dark business of executions.
We’re told to try and ease the tension Ferguson made a funny face and mouthed words to his loved ones who were there including his two daughters.
Kelli’s family said they will now try to move on with their lives.
Ferguson had expressed remorse for the crime. Supporters said he'd found religion, counseled other inmates and helped start a prison hospice program.
But St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch said Ferguson's good deeds in prison didn't make up for the senseless killing of an innocent teenager.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused late Tuesday to stop the impending execution.
BONNE TERRE, MO (KTVI) – At 12:01 Wednesday morning, 59-year-old Jeffrey Ferguson is set to be executed in Bonne Terre, convicted of murdering 17 year-old Kelli Hall back in 1989.
This is a moment that Kelli’s family has been waiting for, ever since Ferguson was given the death penalty in 1995.
Kelli’s brother, Stephen Hall, laments, “Never got to see how she turned out, she never got to meet my kids, my wife.” Their mother, Sue King, adds, “She never got to get married, have her own children. How different would life be if she were still here?”
Kelli would be 42 years old today, but instead, in February of 1989, she was abducted, raped and murdered, while working at a St. Charles gas station. Her frozen body was found 13 days later on a St. Louis County farm. Evidence, including DNA, pointed directly to Jeffrey Ferguson, and his accomplice, Kenneth Ousley, who is serving a life sentence in prison.
With Ferguson’s execution finally here, Kelli’s mother is hoping to finally get some closure. She says, “It’s almost over. Twenty-five years is a long time to keep someone in prison for murder, don’t you think? I just want it to be over with so I can get on with my life, and know it’s done.”
Ferguson will be the state’s fifth execution using a new single drug method, and Missouri’s fifth execution in five months.
Department of Corrections Spokesman Mike O’Connell describes Ferguson’s last day: “He was able to meet up until 4 o’clock with family members, spiritual counselors, and he did that. He had a full day meeting with people, his mood has been pretty good, he’s been upbeat, his attorneys have said that.”
At 4:30, he was served his last meal: barbecued ribs, French fries, Mountain Dew and apple pie. When he is executed, representatives from the state, his family, and the victim’s family, will all be there to witness it.
King says, “I don’t care what he is now, and he may be a really nice guy now, but he wasn’t back when he took my daughter. When he took my daughter, he ruined our whole family, not just us. And he also ruined his family.”
Until 12:01, when the execution is set to take place, Ferguson is able to be in constant contact with his attorneys, in case any of his appeals are granted. However, Governor Jay Nixon already denied his clemency petition, and the execution is set to go through as planned.
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