March 15, 2018
Michael Wayne Eggers was executed by the state of Alabama on Thursday, March 15, 2018. He was pronounced dead at 7:29 pm CDT, inside the execution chamber at the Holeman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama. Michael was 50 years of age. Michael was convicted of the murder of Bennie “Francis” Murray on December 30, 2000, near Jasper, Alabama. Michael spent the last 15 years of his life on Alabama’s death row.
Michael Eggers sold concessions with a carnival that traveled trough the southeastern United States. The business was owned by Frank and Bennie “Francis” Murray. In September of 2000, the carnival stopped in Jasper, Alabama. While there, Eggers met a woman and decided to stay. Between September and the end of December 2000, Eggers found a job, but eventually lost it and was unable to find another.
On December 26, 2000, Eggers phoned Francis asking for a job. At the time, the carnival was not traveling and Francis and her husband were at their home in Talladega. Francis explained that the carnival would not be traveling again until mid-March and that their “bunkhouse” was unavailable.
On December 28, Eggers called Francis again, saying he was at the bus station in Birmingham with his son. He asked if she would pick them up. Francis agreed, and during the next several days, unsuccessfully attempted to help Eggers locate a job. On December 30, Eggers asked Francis to take him and his son back to the Jasper; she agreed.
Francis dropped off Egger’s son at his apartment and then she agreed to help Eggers find his car, which he had allegedly driven off the road due to inclement weather a few days earlier. They drove for some time, but Francis eventually stopped and said she was willing to go no further and was turning around. Eggers alleged that when he voiced his protest, Francis backhanded him, causing him to “let go, and just start hitting her.” After Francis fell unconscious, Eggers started driving the truck.
When Francis started to come around she was making noises, which caused Eggers to stop the truck, get out, and kick her several times in the head with his steel-toed boots. He then left her along the dirt road, but came back a short time later to make sure she was dead, because he “didn’t want to leaver her out there suffering.” When he discovered that she was once again regaining consciousness, he strangled her with his hands and using a tree branch after he dragged her into the woods. He then took the truck to a car wash to wash out the blood and stole money from her purse, left in the truck.
Eggers fled to Florida, where he was eventually arrested and returned to Alabama for criminal proceedings. His trial began in August 2002, and he found guilty and sentenced to death in October 2002.
Eggers did not protest his execution, as he stopped all appeals in his case and asked a judge to give him an execution date. When he requested an execution date, he also noted that long, drawn-out appeals process are cruel and unusual punishment for both the family of the victims and the condemned.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Francis Murray. Please pray for strength for the family of Michael Eggers.