July 16, 2014  8:26 pm EDT

 

 

John C. Middleton was executed shortly after 7 pm CDT, on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, by the state of Missouri.   Read the full story here.

 

Update: July 16, 2014  7:43 pm EDT

 

 

John Middleton’s attorney has petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States to review the earlier decision of the Missouri Supreme Court.  This petition came after the Supreme Court of the United States refused to consider three separate requests for a stay of execution.

 

Update: July 16, 2014  7:22 pm EDT

 

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has denied clemency to John Middleton.  The Supreme Court of the United States has denied all three appeals set before them by John and his attorneys.

 

Update: July 16, 2014  7:05 pm EDT

 

 

The Missouri Supreme Court has refused, by a vote of 4-3, to stay the execution of John Middleton.  John currently has three appeals pending before the Supreme Court of the United States, which all have requests for a stay of execution attached to them.

Update: July 16, 2014  12:58 EDT

 

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated the stay of execution granted to John Middleton by US District Judge Catherine Perry approximately one hour before his scheduled execution.  The 8th Circuit’s order goes into effect at 6 pm CDT.  John will be executed at this time barring any further appeals, which are expected.

 

 

Update: July 16, 2014  1:38 am EDT

 

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has adjourned without ruling on Missouri's appeal to lift the stay of execution of John Middleton.  The execution warrant remains in effect until 11:59 pm CDT, on July 16, 2014.  If the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals lifts the stay before then, they execution can be carried out.

 

 

Update: July 16, 2014  1:09 am EDT

 

 

It is being reported that US District Judge Catherine Perry has issued a second stay of execution for John Middleton.  Judge Perry insists that John should have a hearing to determine his mental competency and that "there is a lack of a clear procedure under Missouri law to raise the claim."  Missouri is appealing the decision to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, asking that they again lift the stay of execution.

 

Update: July 16, 2014  12:07 am EDT

 

 

The Supreme Court of the United States has refused two requests to stay the execute of John Middleton.  The execution is scheduled for 12:01 am CDT.

 

 

Update: July 15, 2014  8:15 pm

 

 

A three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned the stay of execution granted earlier today by US District Judge Catherine Perry.  Judge Perry had stayed the execution to allow time for John’s mental capacity to be examined.  The most recent decision is being appealed by John’s attorneys.  John also has an appeal pending before the Supreme Court of the United States, alleging that another man committed the crime for which John was convicted.

 

Update: July 15, 2014  2:22 pm EDT 

 

The execution of John Middleton has been stayed by US District Judge Catherine Perry.  The stay was granted to permit time for John to undergo a mental evaluation.  John and his attorneys are arguing that he is mentally incompetent and ineligible for execution.  Judge Perry’s ruling has been appealed by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.

 

Update: July 14, 2014  2:06 pm EDT

 

John C. Middleton is scheduled to be executed 12:01 am CDT, on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Corrections Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri.  Fifty-four-year-old John is convicted of murdering Randy Hamilton and Stacey Hodge on June 11, 1995, in Harrison County, Missouri.  John was also separately convicted of murdering Alfred Pinegar on June 23, 1995, in Harrison County, Missouri.  John has spent the last 18 years of his life in prison in Missouri.

 

John had medical problems at his birth and during his childhood, John had a head injury.  John grew up in an abusive home and with a father who spent time in jail for burglary.  John’s mother was an inhalant abuser, which, allegedly, resulted in John being cognitively impaired.  It was also alleged that his impaired cognitive abilities led John to begin using drugs.  John was exposed to drugs earlier in his childhood and became addicted.  John had previously spent time in prison in Iowa.  Prior to his prison term in Iowa, John worked as a farm laborer and was considered diligent and hardworking, although lacking the intellect to work on the business’ computers.

 

John Middleton was a dealer and user of the drug methamphetamine.    On June 10, 1995, several drug dealers were arrested in Cainsville, Missouri, but Middleton was not among them.  Middleton was concerned that informants would turn him into the police as well.  Middleton told a friend later that afternoon that there were “some snitches that should be taken care of.”  Middleton mentioned several names, including Randy “Happy” Hamilton.

 

The following day, Middleton, along with his girlfriend Maggie Hodges, met Randy and Randy’s girlfriend Stacey Hodge on a gravel road.  Middleton shot Randy once in the back with an SKS rifle.  He also shot Stacey three times in the back.  Middleton killed Randy by shooting him in the head.  Maggie killed Stacey by shooting her in the head with another SKS rifle.  The bodies were placed in the trunk of Randy’s car.  Middleton drove Randy’s car, while Maggie drove the car in which they came.

 

While driving around looking for a place to dump the bodies, Middleton was spotted by a man named Danny Spurling.  Middleton was covered in blood.  He told Danny he had “taken care” of Randy and asked if Danny knew what to do with the bodies.  Middleton indicated that they were going to burn the bodies.  The following day, June 12, Middleton gave Danny the stereo from Randy’s car and commented that “they were really going to freak out when they found those two.”

 

On June 25, Middleton was discussing informants with John Thomas, when Thomas noticed a “stash box” belonging to Randy.  Middleton commented that “the guy who owned the box wouldn’t be needing it no more.”  Around the same time, Middleton confessed to yet another person, Dennis Rickert, that he killed “Happy.”  Middleton later gave Dennis the gun he used to kill Randy, which Dennis later turned over to the police.

 

In late June 1995, Middleton was arrested for the murder of Alfred Pinegar, which occurred on June 23, 1995, between Bethany and Ridgeway, Missouri.  Middleton took Alfred from his home in Davis City, Iowa, went to a Wal-Mart store to buy ammunition, and drove to a field, where Middleton shot Alfred twice in the back and killed him by shooting him in the head.  Middleton then returned to the Wal-Mart store to return some ammunition.

 

Middleton was arrested a few days later.  The bodies of Randy and Stacey were found on July 10, 1995.  They were decomposing in the trunk of Randy’s car, which had been abandoned in the woods.  The stereo was missing.  While awaiting trial, Middleton confessed to killing all Randy, Stacey, and Alfred to another inmate who then testified against him.

 

During his trial for the murder of Randy and Stacey, a neuropharmacologist testified that Middleton was suffering from delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia, all of which were caused by prolonged methamphetamine use.  Further, at the time of the crime, Middleton was suffering from the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance.

 

Middleton was convicted for the death of Alfred and Randy and Stacey.  He received a death sentence in each case.  Maggie received multiple life sentences, plus 10.

 

Middleton was previously scheduled to be executed in 2008, but he was granted a stay of execution after challenging the state’s execution protocol as unconstitutional. 

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Randy Hamilton, Stacey Hodge, and Alfred Pinegar.  Please pray for strength for the family of John Middleton.  Please pray that John may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already found one.

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