680 S.W.2d 141(Mo. Banc. 1984)
Alan Jeffrey Bannister was executed October 22, 1997
Case Facts: In August 1982, Alan Jeffrey Bannister lived near Peoria, Illinois, with Ronald Rick Wooten. Wooten asked Bannister if he would like to make some money by killing a man. When Bannister expressed interest, Wooten explained that a man whose wife left him for another man wanted to have the latter killed. According to the plan, Bannister would receive $4000 to commit the murder, $1500 in advance and the gun and transportation. Wooten subsequently gave Bannister a note, upon which was written: “Darrell Ruestman, Shady Lane Mobile Home Park, Joplin, Missouri.” The plan thus completed, Bannister left by bus for Joplin.
On August 20, 1982, Darrell Ruestman was living in a Joplin trailer park with Linda McCormick, then married to Richard McCormick. That afternoon Bannister arrived in town, registered at a motel under a different name. He paid in advance for two days, and then visited the trailer park. He returned to the park on the following day, when he befriended a resident, Glenn Miller. When Ruestman and McCormick arrived at home that evening, McCormick observed Bannister and Miller sitting in front of the Miller trailer, next to that occupied by Ruestman and McCormick. Later in the evening, McCormick again observed the two men in the vicinity of the trailer she shared with Ruestman. McCormick retired, and awoke at approximately 10:00 p.m. to the sound of knocking at the trailer door. When Ruestman answered the door, he was shot, and died before the police arrived.
At approximately 3:30 a.m. the next morning, Bannister took a taxicab to the bus station, where he was arrested by Joplin and Newton County police officers for the murder of Darrell Ruestman. Bannister was placed in a lineup and was positively identified by McCormack and two other witnesses as the man seen near the Ruestman trailer shortly before the murder. In subsequent statements to the police, Bannister revealed various details of the crimes and led officers to certain physical evidence, including the murder weapon and the torn-up note with the victim’s name on it.
8/12 – Alan Bannister shoots and kills Darrell Ruestman in Joplin, Missouri (Newton County)
9/14 – Bannister is charged by information with capital murder.
2/3 – Bannister is tried in the Circuit Court of McDonald County on a change of venue from Newton County. The jury finds him guilty of capital murder and recommends capital punishment as the sentence.
3/10 – A motion for a new trial is denied and Bannister is sentenced to death.
3/15 – A notice of appeal is filed.
11/20 – The Missouri Supreme Court affirms Bannister’s conviction and sentence.
4/1 – The U.S. Supreme Court denies certiorari review.
7/12 – Bannister files a Rule 27.26 motion for post-conviction relief in the Circuit Court.
12/17 – The Circuit Court denies post-conviction relief.
7/26 – The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Southern District affirms the denial of relief.
7/26 – Bannister files a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
7/19 – Petition is dismissed without prejudice.
2/2 – Bannister files second post-conviction relief motion in Circuit Court.
4/12 – Second post-conviction motion is denied by Circuit Court.
4/13 – A notice of appeal is filed.
9/1 – Missouri Supreme Court affirms the denial of relief.
10/28 – U.S. District Court reopens the habeas litigation.
8/23 – U.S. District Court denies petition for writ of habeas corpus.
4/30 – U.S. District Court denies the Motion to Reconsider.
5/29 – Bannister appeals denial of habeas relief.
9/24 – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirms the denial of relief.
10/31 – The U.S. Supreme Court declines review.
11/1 – The State requests the Missouri Supreme Court to set an execution date.
11/15 – The Missouri Supreme Court sets December 7, 1994, as Bannister’s execution date.
11/29 – Bannister files a petition for writ of habeas corpus in federal court.
11/30 – The U.S. District Court for the Western District issues a stay of execution on Bannister’s 1987 petition of habeas corpus. The State moves the District Court to vacate the stay.
12/2 – The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri vacates its November 29 stay of execution in the 1994 litigation. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit dissolves the stay of execution on the 1987 habeas corpus petition. Bannister files with the U.S. Supreme Court an application for a stay based on the 1994 habeas corpus petition.
12/7 – The U.S. Supreme Court grants a stay of execution.
1/27 – The U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals remands the case to the District court.
9/15 – The U.S. District Court denies relief.
11/14 – The U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirms the denial of relief.
6/27 – The U.S. Supreme Court denies review of the case.
9/24 – The Missouri Supreme Court sets an execution date of October 22, 1997.