Update: Tuesday, June 9, 2015  8:12 pm EDT

 

Richard Strong has been executed by the state of Missouri.  Read the full story here

 

Update: Tuesday, June 9, 2015  7:21 pm EDT

 

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has rejected a request for clemency by Richard Strong.  The Supreme Court of the United States has also rejected all requests for a stay of execution for Richard.

 

Update: Tuesday, June 9, 2015  1:36 pm EDT

 

Richard Strong has asked the Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, to grant him clemency and spare him from execution.  The governor has not yet responded to the request.  In addition, the infant who was not injured in the attack, who is now 14 years of age, has asked the Governor Nixon to pardon Richard, her father.  In a letter she wrote, she says that her father has helped her through difficult times and that she will "struggle" without him.  Richard also has two appeals pending before the Supreme Court of the United States.  The first argues that lethal injection poses a risk of pain and suffering, thereby violating his Constitutional rights.  The second appeal argues that Richard should not be executed due to a mental illness, which renders him incompetent.   

 

Update: Monday, June 8, 2015  10:36 am EDT

 

Richard Strong is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Corrections Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri.  Forty-eighty-year-old Richard is convicted of the murder of his girlfriend Eva Washington and Eva’s two-year-old daughter Zandrea Thomas, on October 23, 2000, in St. Louis County, Missouri.  Richard has spent the last 12 years on Missouri’s death row.

 

Richard alleges that he had an impoverished childhood filled with neglect, violence, and abuse.  Richard was abandoned by his father and allegedly suffered from seizures, disorganized attachment, and mental impairment.

 

At 3:30 pm, on October 23, 2000, the St. Ann police dispatch received a phone call that was disconnected almost immediately.  Upon replaying the call, the dispatcher heard a woman scream.  The dispatcher attempted to redial the number repeatedly until police arrived several minutes later, at the home of Eva Washington and her two daughters: two-year-old Zandrea Thomas and a three-month-old who was fathered by Richard Strong.  

 

When police knocked, they received no immediate answer at either the front or back door.  Strong eventually opened the back door and stepped outside, closing the door behind him.  He told police that Eva and the children were sleeping.  He later said Eva had gone to work.  When police asked to see the children, Strong claimed to have locked himself out and knocked on the door, calling for someone to open it.

 

Police noted that Strong had dark stains on his jeans, blood on his left hand, and was sweating.  They ordered Strong to stand aside and they kicked in the door, causing Strong to flee.  Officers chased Strong, who repeatedly told them “Just shoot me.”  After Strong was apprehended and handcuffed, he confessed, saying, “I killed them.”

 

The bodies of Eva and Zandrea were found in a bedroom.  Each had multiple stab wounds.  The three-month-old child was not injured.  Strong was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to death on May 9, 2003.

  

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Eva and Zandrea.  Please pray for strength for the family or Richard Strong.  Please pray that if Richard is innocent, or if he lacks the mental competency to be executed, that evidence will be found before his execution.  Please pray that Richard may come to find peace through personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.

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