Thursday, May 29, 2003

May 27, 2003

a family divided...

Last Meal: Knighton requested a final meal of a large pepperoni pizza, a strawberry milkshake, a large order of onion rings and banana cream pie.

The skinny: Knighton shot and killed a couple at their farm near Tonkawa during a three-day crime spree that began with the murders and robbery of two men in Clinton, Mo. He and two co-defendants came away from the victim's residence with $61 and a beat-up pickup truck.

ANOTHER half-way house escape and SPREE: Knighton served 17 years in a Missouri prison for manslaughter, kidnapping and robbery before going to a halfway house in Kansas City, Mo., where he befriended a teenager on probation for auto theft.

They escaped and the two, along with Knighton’s girlfriend, stole a van in Kansas City and drove to Clinton, Mo., where they met up with a man and his stepson and drank together.

Knighton was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of these men but he was not convicted because he was sentenced to death in Oklahoma first.

The trio left their encounter with the men with money, beer and three weapons, including a .38-caliber revolver used to kill the farm couple

Last words and such: >"I'm sorry for all I've done," Knighton said in his last words. "I'll see you again some day."

The family: Knighton’s execution Tuesday was witnessed by several relatives of the victim's . Most said justice was done.

Among the witnesses for Knighton was the adopted daughter of the victim. She forgave and befriended Knighton during his trial 12 years ago and has been an outspoken critic of capital punishment. She gave Knighton a thumbs-up after his brief final remarks.

‘‘He’s getting ready to go to heaven,’’ she said aloud as the mixture of lethal drugs was administered.

The case has put the sisters on opposite sides of a difficult issue. But the two remain friendly. They even ate breakfast together Tuesday morning.