State of Missouri v. Stanley D. Lingar

726 S.W.2d 728 (Mo.banc 1987)

Stanley Lingar was executed on February 7, 2001.

Case Facts
: In the early morning hours of January 6, 1985 Thomas Scott Allen, a 16 year old junior in high school student, ran out of gas on Highway 160 in Ripley County, Missouri. A blue Ford Mustang driven by Stanley Lingar who was with David Smith and a group of hitchhikers they had earlier picked up stopped. Mr. Allen explained his situation and Lingar told him he would drive him to a gas station. The hitchhikers got out of the car and Lingar, Smith and Mr. Allen drove to Doniphan, Missouri. Finding no gas station open Lingar drove from Doniphan and headed toward Lingo Lake.

At one point Lingar told Mr. Allen to remove his coat which he declined to do. Lingar then threatened that if he did not comply he would not take Mr. Allen back to town. Mr. Allen removed his coat. When they arrived at Lingo Lake Lingar threatened to leave Mr. Allen at the lake if he did not take off his clothes. Mr. Allen complied at which time Lingar ordered Mr. Allen to masturbate. When Mr. Allen had difficulty responding to the order, Lingar drove to his parents’ home and retrieved a .22 caliber rifle. He then returned to Lingo Lake where he again ordered Mr. Allen to masturbate while pointing the rifle at him.

Mr. Allen asked to get out of the car so that he could urinate. Lingar agreed and both men got out of the car. Lingar then shot Mr. Allen in the back. Mr. Allen was able to get back in the car in an attempt escape. When he had difficulty getting the car started Lingar went to the passenger side of the car and fired a shot striking Mr. Allen in the head. Mr. Allen fell out of the car and as he tried to get up Lingar shot him a third time. Mr. Allen attempted to get up and Lingar began beating him in the head with a tire iron.

As Mr. Allen made a final attempt to get up, Lingar got into the car and backed it up running over the victim two times. Lingar and Smith then drove away leaving Mr. Allen laying naked on the ground. After conferring with his brother Eddie, Lingar and Smith returned to the lake to dispose of Mr. Allen’s body. Upon arrival Lingar and Smith redressed Mr. Allen, placed his body in the trunk of the car and drove to a bridge on the Eleven Point River. The two men threw Mr. Allen’s body into the swift moving river and then tried to clean the car of blood, discard Mr. Allen’s personal effects and burn the forearm and stock of the rifle.

The next day Lingar and Smith sold the Mustang and a pickup truck. They used the proceeds to go to Bowling Green, Kentucky where they attempted to destroy the remainder of the rifle.

The Ripley County Sheriff began an investigation into the disappearance of Mr. Allen which lead him to the blue Mustang. Upon learning that authorities wanted to talk to him Lingar returned to Ripley County where he and Smith made a statement. Following the interview the Sheriff obtained a search warrant for the car. During their search the Sheriff found Mr. Allen’s blood in the car and the trunk as well as .22 caliber shell casings. On January 14, 1985 the Missouri State Water Patrol found Mr. Allen’s body in the river. Lingar was then charged with Murder First Degree.

Legal Chronology

03/06/85 – Stanley Lingar kills Thomas Scott Allen in Ripley County, Missouri.
03/14/85 – Lingar is charged with Murder First Degree.

03/12/86 – Lingar’s trial starts in St. Francois County Circuit Court after a change of venue.
03/13/86 – The jury finds Lingar guilty of Murder First Degree.
03/14/86 – The jury recommends the death penalty.
04/18/86 – Lingar is sentenced to death by the court.
04/24/86 – Lingar files a notice of appeal.

03/17/87 – The Missouri Supreme Court affirms the conviction and sentence.
10/05/87 – The U. S. Supreme Court denies certiorari review.
10/13/87 – Lingar files a motion for post-conviction relief in the St. Francois County Circuit Court.

06/08/88 – The Circuit Court denies post-conviction relief.

03/14/89 – The Missouri Supreme Court affirms the denial of post-conviction relief.
10/10/89 – The U. S. Supreme Court denies certiorari review.
10/18/89 – Lingar files a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

08/02/96 – The U. s. District Court denies the petition for writ of habeas corpus.

05/11/99 – The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirms the denial of relief.

03/27/00 – The U.S. Supreme Court declines discretionary review.
05/10/00 – The State requests the Missouri Supreme Court to set an execution date.

01/10/01 – The Missouri Supreme Court sets February 7, 2001 as Lingar’s execution date.