Saturday, March 18, 2006

March 17, 2oo6

...St. Patrick's Day...

Last Meal: Moody chose a last meal of turkey with dressing, tossed salad with blue cheese dressing, strawberry cheesecake and a Coke.

The skinny: Moody was executed for the 1994 murder of his girlfriend's husband.

More skinny: Moody conspired with his girlfriend, Wanda Robbins, to kill her husband so the pair could split a $5,000 insurance policy. On Sept. 16, 1994, Moody pretended to be interested in purchasing a car owned by the man and shot him in the back of the head. At 5:30 a.m. on the day after the murder, Wanda Robbins called the life insurance company seeking payment. Wanda Robbins was sentenced to life in prison plus 65 years after she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and insurance fraud.

This was not the first time that Moody had plotted with a woman to kill somebody. He spent five years in a Florida prison for a similar scheme that failed.

Moody interrupted his murder trial in 1995 to plead guilty to the slaying of Robbins.

Moody's attorneys had argued that he should be exempted from the death penalty because of his marginal intelligence.

Leading up to: Moody spent Wednesday and Thursday visiting with his mother, siblings and other relatives from Canton, Ohio, where he grew up. At 5 p.m. Thursday, Moody took a break from his first contact visits with family in 10 years to eat his last meal.

Last words and such: Moody released a long poem he received from a prison chaplain as his final statement.

It was handed out after the execution. The last verse reads, "When tragedy strikes, when trouble comes, when life disappoints us, we stand at the crossroads between hope and despair, torn and hurting. Despair cements us in the present; hope sends us dancing around dark corners trusting in a tomorrow we cannot see. Despair says that there is no place to go but here. Hope says that God is waiting for us someplace else. Begin again."

Later, as technicians prepared the execution chamber and the drugs, Rick Moody sat in the small, dark witness room, watching through the double-pane glass window. He mouthed "I'll see you in heaven" and blew two kisses before saying aloud "I'll see you up there" and giving Patrick Moody a thumbs up. Moody could only nod in response.

Factoids: Moody was the...

10th murderer executed in U.S. in 2006
1014th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
2nd murderer executed in North Carolina in 2006
41st murderer executed in North Carolina since 1976

Before the execution, about 15 people were arrested and charged with trespassing when they tried to enter the prison grounds about 10 p.m., Acree said. Before the execution, about 125 anti-death penalty protesters were arrested when they tried to enter the prison grounds. The protesters were charged with trespassing.