A US man convicted of killing a farm couple while trying to steal their cows has been put to death in the midwestern US state of Missouri, authorities say.
William Rousan, 57, was declared dead by lethal injection shortly after midnight on Wednesday in Bonne Terre, Missouri, said Mike O’Connell, spokesman for the state’s department of public security.
Rousan was sentenced to death for plotting and carrying out the September 1993 murders of Charles Lewis, 67, and his wife Grace, 62.
According to the indictment, Rousan took his son Brent and his brother Robert to the Lewis farm to steal a herd of cows.
When Charles Lewis spotted them, Brent Rousan killed him with six shots and when Lewis’ wife, hearing gunfire, came out of the house she was herself shot to death.
Their bodies were found a year later in a shallow grave that had been covered in cement, near the home of William Rousan.
In September 1994, police were tipped off by Rousan’s brother-in-law, who told them he was involved in the double murder, and by Rousan’s sister, who sold the victims’ stolen VCR.
The son of the murdered couple, Michael Lewis, watched Rousan’s death by lethal injection, but said he drew “no real satisfaction from Mr. Rousan’s incarceration or execution, for neither can replace or restore the moments lost with my parents”.
Brent Rousan is serving a life sentence, while Robert Rousan, who testified in his brother’s trial and pleaded guilty, served time in prison and has been released.
The execution was the 18th this year in the United States, of which four have been carried out in Missouri.
Later on Wednesday, another Death Row inmate, Robert Hendrix, is scheduled to be executed in Florida for the murders of his cousin and his cousin’s wife.