The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

December 12, 2013

Missouri executes man

BONNE TERRE, Mo. — Missouri executed Allen Nicklasson on Wednesday night for killing a good Samaritan who stopped to help him and his friends after their car stalled on Interstate 70 in 1994.

It was the state’s second execution in three weeks.

Nicklasson, 41, was pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m. Wednesday, eight minutes after the process began. His eyes remained closed throughout and he showed little reaction to the drug, only briefly breathing heavily about 2 minutes into the process. He offered no final words.

Missouri Department of Public Safety spokesman Mike O’Connell said Nicklasson prayed briefly with the prison chaplain about 20 minutes before the execution. No one from his family or the victim’s family attended.

An appeals court panel had granted a stay of execution for Nicklasson on Monday, citing concerns about his counsel at trial and sentencing in 1996. That stay was taken up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which did not return its 5-4 decision to vacate the stay until late Wednesday night.

Gov. Jay Nixon refused to grant clemency, and Nicklasson was executed nearly 23 hours after he was originally scheduled to die.

Nicklasson declined interview requests this week. But in a 2009 interview with The Associated Press he spoke of a childhood scarred by abuse and mental illness. He recalled watching his mother shoot up heroin. She fed him Alpo dog food for dinner, he said, and once made him fight a Doberman for money.

Nicklasson was often removed from home and spent part of his childhood in mental institutions and homes for boys. He became addicted to drugs.

He met convicted killer Dennis Skillicorn in 1994 at a drug rehab center in Kansas City. The men, along with Tim DeGraffenreid, drove to St. Louis to buy drugs in August that year. On the way back, their 1983 Chevrolet Caprice broke down near Kingdom City, Mo. They dropped the car off with a mechanic and burglarized a home, stealing money and drugs.

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