Prison prepares for execution

Prison officials at Bonne Terre have been getting ready for Missouri’s first execution since October of 2005.

Dennis Skillicorn is to become Missouri’s first prisoner executed in three-and-a-half years at one minute past midnight tomorrow morning. Skillicorn is one of three men convicted in the murder of a man in 19-94. Skillicorn has done prison time earlier for involvement in an earlier murder. He’s also implicated in two killings in Arizona in ’94 after the Missouri murder.

The staff at the Bonne Terre prison has gone through two practice executions to make sure security procedures are in place and the mechanical part of the execution functions properly.

Corrections Department spokesman Jacqueline LaPine says the execution can happen anytime tomorrow although the department plans the injections for 12:01 a.m. Executions are scheduled for one minute after midnight because death warrants allow executions

Skillicorn has lost all of his appeals in the past week. But his attorneys are not giving up. If the courts refuse to step in, his last hope is Governor Jay Nixon, who was an execution hawk when he was Attorney General. [Bob Priddy,]