693 S.W.2d 79(Mo.banc 1985)
Kenneth Kenley was executed at 12:03 a.m., February 5, 2002.
Case Facts: On January 3, 1984 Kenneth Kenley entered the Kater Inn liquor store in Poplar Bluff; Missouri wearing a ski mask and armed with a .38 caliber pistol. After the store clerk emptied the cash register into a bag, Kenley grabbed bystander, Sandra Buttry, and forced her into a brown station wagon he had borrowed from a friend. Kenley unzipped his pants and ordered Ms. Buttry to perform oral sex on him. In an attempt to escape, Ms. Buttry opened the door of the car and Kenley shot her in the back as she was jumping from the car. Ms. Buttry survived the assault.Shortly after midnight on January 4, 1984, Kenley entered the Blue Moon Tavern south of Poplar Bluff in Butler County, Missouri and announced a holdup. Kenley ordered the patrons to empty their pockets and get on the floor. When no one followed his order Kenley pointed his revolver at Ronald Felts and fired a single shot that struck Mr. Felts in the head and killed him. Kenley then ordered the owner of the bar, Ellen White, to give him all the money from the cash register. He then ordered Ms. White to go with him as he made his escape. While driving away Ms. White was able to jump out of The car.
At about 12:30 a.m. on January 4, 1984 Kenley arrived at the Coachlight Motel. Kenley pulled his gun on Mrs. Ollie Gaultney and demanded money. Her husband Truman entered the room at which time Kenley threatened to kill him if Mrs. Gaultney did not give him the money. Kenley pulled the trigger of his revolver, but it did not fire. Mr. Gaultney then struggled with Kenley and Kenley left the building. Mr. Gaultney retrieved a shotgun and fired three shots at Kenley as he drove away in his car.
As Kenley made his way across the state line into Arkansas, authorities pursued him to a roadblock that had been set up. Kenley lost control of his car on a patch of ice. Police officers fired shots at the car’s radiator and tires and the car stopped. Kenley got out of the car and fired shots at the officers and made his escape across a field.
Police arrested Kenley about an hour later in Corning, Arkansas when he attempted to rob Junior’s Food Mart and make his escape in a stolen car.
01/04 – Kenneth Kenley is arrested for the murder of Ronald Felts in Butler County, Missouri
06/13 – Kenley’s trial begins.
06/15 – Kenley is found guilty of Capital Murder and the jury recommends the death penalty.
07/13 – Kenley is sentenced to death.
07/19 – Kenley files a notice of appeal.
06/25 – The Missouri Supreme Court affirms Kenley’s conviction and sentence.
03/31 – The U. S. Supreme Court denies certiorari review.
08/01 – Kenley files a motion for post-conviction relief.
12/02 – The Butler County Circuit Court denies the motion for post-conviction relief.
09/07 – The Missouri Court of Appeals affirms the denial of the motion for post-conviction relief.
11/30 – Kenley files a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
07/12 – The U. S. District Court denies the petition for writ of habeas corpus.
05/17 – The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirms the conviction and orders a new penalty phase.
11/12 – The U. S. Supreme Court declines review.
03/07 – The second penalty phase trial begins after a change of venue to Phelps County, Missouri
03/11 – The jury returns a verdict of death.
07/05 – Kenley files a notice of appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court.
02/01 – Kenley files a motion for post-conviction relief.
04/26 – The Circuit Court denies the motion for post-conviction relief.
08/19 – The Missouri Supreme court affirms the sentence and denies the motion for post-conviction relief.
01/26 – The U. S. Supreme Court denies review.
10/01 – Kenley files a writ of habeas corpus.
11/02 – The U. S. District Court denies habeas relief.
01/03 – The U. S. Court of Appeals affirms the denial of relief.
10/07 – The U. S. Supreme Court declines review.
01/07 – The Missouri Supreme Court sets February 5, 2003, as Kenley’s execution date.