Thursday, December 01, 2005

November 28, 2005

Last Meal: Nance had a final meal request of two bacon cheeseburgers, French fries, two pints of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and two cans of Coca-Cola.

The skinny: Nance was executed for murdering an 18-year old Malvern cheerleader by stabbing her in the throat with a box cutter after coming upon her standing by her broken-down car.

More skinny: The girl's vehicle was discovered abandoned. A week later, her body was found on rural property approximately 7.5 miles from her vehicle. Although the autopsy failed to reveal the cause or manner of death, medical evidence showed likely trauma to the head, and defects to her clothing were consistent with a cutting wound.

At trial, Nance's brother and sister testified that, after initially denying any involvement in the crime, Nance later stated that he had accidentally killed the victim. Nance told them that the victim's automobile had broken down on the road, that he picked her up, that his work knife slid out of his pocket, that as he moved to put the knife in the glove compartment, the victim turned started kicking him, that he put his hand up to keep her from kicking and hitting him, and that the knife fatally lodged in her throat.

A little more than a year later, the girl’s mother committed suicide.

The trial: In the sentencing phase, the State presented as evidence six prior felony convictions stemming from Nance's rape and beating of two Oklahoma girls in 1982. Nance was released from his twenty-year sentence for those convictions five months before he killed the girl.

Last words and such: Nance was executed after a delay of more than an hour while a U.S. Supreme Court justice reviewed his appeals.

Nance, 45, remained silent when asked if he wished to make a final statement. Witnesses said his eyes remained closed.

Factoids: Nance was the...

54th murderer executed in U.S. in 2005
998th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
1st murderer executed in Arkansas in 2005
27th murderer executed in Arkansas since 1976

About 30 protesters gathered briefly outside the Governor's Mansion on Monday night and sang "Amazing Grace." They also lit candles to remember previous inmates executed in Arkansas.