August 6, 2014  1:32 am EDT

Michael Shane Worthington was executed shortly after 12:01 am MDT, on August 6, 2014, at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne, Terre, Missouri.  Forty-three-year-old Michael was executed for the rape and murder of 24-year-old Melinda Griffin on September 29, 1995, which occurred inside of her apartment in Lake St. Louis, Missouri.  Michael has spent the last 18 years on Missouri's death row.

Michael alleges he was raised in a dysfunctional family and frequently neglected and abused.  Michael frequently drank and was dependent on drugs and alcohol.  He was diagnosed with an anti-social personality disorder prior to his trial.  Michael also attempted to exaggerate any psychological problems to psychiatrists before his trial 

On the night of September 29, 1995, Michael Worthington was with his friend Jill Morehead at his condo for most of the afternoon and evening.  They each had several drinks.  Unbeknownst to Jill, Worthington has also purchased drugs.  Jill last saw Worthington that night after he left her at his condo.  When Worthington finally returned, Jill had left.  Worthington noticed that his neighbor, Melinda Griffin, had left her window open.  Worthington had previously seen Melinda around the apartment complex.

Worthington went to his condo, grabbed a razor blade, and put on gloves.  When he returned to Melinda's condo, he noticed the bathroom light had been turned on.  Worthington cut through Melinda's screen and entered her apartment, confronting her in the bedroom where Worthington placed his hands over her mouth until Melinda became unconscious.  As he was raping her, Melinda became conscious and began to fight back.  Worthington strangled her with his hands and a rope or cord.  After killing Melinda, Worthington stole jewelry, credit cards, her mobile phone, keys, and car.

Worthington was pulled over the following day, while driving Melinda's car.  The officer noticed several items, such as makeup, that identified the vehicle's owner as a female, however the car had not been reported as stolen.

Melinda's body was discovered on October 1, 1995, by a neighbor.  DNA testing later proved that Worthington had raped her.  Following the discovery of Melinda's body, police went to arrest Worthington, who pulled out a knife and attempted to commit suicide.  Found on Worthington was jewelry and keys belonging to Melinda.  Worthington confessed to the crime and pled guilty, but said it came after four days of drinking and getting high.  He also alleges that he was "blackout drunk" at the time of the crime.  Worthington was sentenced to death for murder and given prison terms for the other crimes.

Michael Worthington is the first person to be executed since the nearly two hour execution of Arizona inmate Joseph Wood, which occurred on July 23, 2014.  Missouri used a single does of pentobarbital for the execution, whereas Arizona used two different drugs.

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Melinda Griffin.  Please pray for strength for the family of Michael.  

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