WASHINGTON (AP/KCAU) — The Justice Department has scheduled two additional federal executions weeks after it fought off last-minute legal challenges and successfully resumed federal executions following a 17-year pause.
The executions of Christopher Andre Vialva and William Emmett LeCroy were announced on Friday. They are both scheduled to be carried out in late September. The government carried out three executions in July, and two other executions were previously set for August.
Vialva, 40, was convicted of kidnapping and killing an Iowa couple at Fort Hood, Texas, in Texas in 1999. The Iowa youth ministers had stopped to use a payphone in Killeen, Texas, and agreed to give Vialva and two others a ride, authorities said. Vialva pulled out a gun, forced the couple into the trunk and drove around for several hours, stopping at ATMs to withdraw cash and attempting to pawn the woman’s wedding ring, according to prosecutors.
The victims, Todd and Stacie Bagley, were both shot in head and placed in trunk of their car, which then was set on fire.
Vialva is scheduled to be executed on September 24.
In 2001, LeCroy, 50, was convicted of raping and killing a nurse, Joann Lee Tiesler, 30, in her Georgia home and then stealing her car.
Prosecutors said he broke into her home and attacked her when she came home from a shopping trip, binding her hands behind her back before he strangled her with an electrical cord and raped her. They said he then slit Tiesler’s throat and stabbed her repeatedly in the back.
LeCroy is scheduled to be executed on September 26.
Anti-death penalty groups say President Donald Trump is pushing for executions prior to the November election in a cynical bid to burnish a reputation as a law-and-order leader.
U.S. officials have portrayed the executions, particularly those of men convicted of brutal killings of children, as bringing long-delayed justice for victims and their families.
There are currently 58 men and one woman on federal death row, all of them in Terre Haute, Indiana.