Missouri Executes Fifth|Prisoner This Year

     BONNE TERRE, Mo. (CN) – Missouri Tuesday night executed its fifth prisoner this year after the Supreme Court denied a last-minute appeal.
     David Zink, 55, was pronounced dead at 7:41 p.m. Central Time, 8 minutes after the execution began.
     He is the 17th prisoner executed in Missouri since November 2013, when the state switched to pentobarbital as its lethal injection drug. Only Texas has executed more inmates during that span.
     The Supreme Court denied Zink’s request for a stay early Tuesday evening. Zink had unsuccessfully petitioned the Missouri Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit the day before.
     It took jurors 90 minutes to convict Zink in 2004 of the murder of 19-year-old Amanda Morton in 2001.
     Zink abducted Morton after rear-ending her car on Interstate 44. Zink, who had recently been released after serving a 20-year prison sentence in Texas on rape, abduction and escape charges, feared the fender-bender would violate his parole because he had been drinking.
     After he was arrested, Zink led authorities to Morton’s body, buried in a cemetery. He confessed on a videotape, matter-of-factly and sometimes laughing, that he had tied her to a tree, snapped her neck and used a knife to sever her spinal cord at the neck.
     An autopsy showed that Morton had been sexually assaulted, had eight broken ribs and 50 to 100 blunt-force injuries.
     Gov. Jay Nixon denied Zink’s clemency petition Tuesday, calling Morton’s murder “brutal and horrifying.”
     Attorney General Chris Koster released a statement shortly after the execution: “The horror and fear 19-year-old Amanda Morton must have felt after being kidnapped by David Zink that July night is truly unimaginable. David Zink callously took a young woman’s life, and it is fitting he pay by losing his own.”

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