Update: January 29, 2014


At 10:20 pm CST, on January 29, 2014, Herbert Smulls was executed by the state of Missouri.  The execution occurred that the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Corrections Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri.  Herbert was 56 years of age.  The execution was carried out after a last minute stay of execution was granted by the Supreme Court of the United States approximately one and one half hours before the scheduled 12:01 am CST, execution time.  The stay, following the State of the Union speech, was granted to allow the Court time to consider Herbert's appeals, which were ultimately rejected.


Herbert was executed for the murder of 51-year-old Stephen Honickman during a robbery at Stephen's jewelry store.  Herbert spent the last 21 years of his life on Missouri's death row.


Stephen and Florence Honickman were the owners and operators of a jewelry store, which typically had customers call and make an appointment to examine jewelry for sale.  In July of 1991, a man, who identified himself as Jeffry Taylor, called and made an appointment to buy a diamond.  The appointment was scheduled for July 22.


Jeffry Taylor, who was later identified as Herbert Smulls, and his friend, Norman Brown, went to the store on July 22 and viewed several diamonds.  They left without making a purchase.  On the afternoon of July 27, they returned to the store, but were told to come back later.  That evening, Smulls and Brown returned and, after viewing some diamonds, went out into the hallway, allegedly to discuss pricing.


Florence looked up when Smulls and Brown re-entered the room and saw Smulls aiming a pistol at her.  Florence ran and hid behind a door.  Smulls fired three shots at her, hitting her in the arm and side.  Smulls then fired three shots at Stephen.  All three shots hit Stephen.  Smulls and Brown then stole several items from the store and jewelry worn by Florence and Stephen.  Florence called the police after Smulls and Brown left.  Stephen died from his wounds.  Florence survived but suffered permanent injuries.


Smulls had eleven prior felony convictions.  Smulls claims that he is a nonviolent, amicable person who was abandoned at childhood and impoverished.  Smulls failed to graduate from high school.  Additionally, he alleges that he is helpful towards friends and family and that he cares for his children.



Please pray for peace and healing for Florence.  Please pray for peace for the families of Stephen and Florence.  Please pray for strength for the family of Herbert Smulls.