Category Archives: Current Death Row Inmates

Supreme Court sets execution dates for Nicklasson, Franklin

Attorney General Chris Koster has announced in a press release that the Missouri Supreme Court had granted the State’s motion to set execution dates for Allen Nicklasson and Joseph Franklin, both of whom have exhausted all appeals in their death sentences. The Court has set Nicklasson’s execution for Oct. 23, 2013, and Franklin’s execution for Nov. 20, 2013.

“Last month, we renewed our request that the Court set execution dates for convicted murderers Joseph Franklin and Allen Nicklasson,” Koster said. “We are pleased that the Court has reexamined the issue, and granted the motions.  The death penalty remains a legal punishment in our state.  By setting these execution dates, the Court has taken an important step to see that justice is finally done for the victims and their families.”

Nicklasson was found guilty in 1996 of first degree murder for the death of “Good Samaritan” Richard Drummond.  Nicklasson was the trigger-man in the 1994 killing of Drummond, who had offered a ride to Nicklasson, Dennis Skillicorn and Tim DeGraffenreid after their car broke down on Interstate 70.  Skillicorn was executed in May 2009 for his role in the crime.

Franklin was convicted in 1997 for shooting and killing Gerald Gordon, who was standing in the parking lot of a St. Louis area synagogue after a bar mitzvah.  Franklin also was convicted of shooting two other men who were in the synagogue parking lot.  While Franklin will be executed for his crimes in Missouri, he also was convicted for the murder of two African-Americans in Utah, the murder of an interracial couple in Wisconsin, and the bombing of a synagogue in Tennessee.  Franklin also has claimed responsibility for the shooting of Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine.

Hearing on death sentence of Scott McLaughlin

St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

In a hearing aimed at negating Scott McLaughlin’s death sentence, family members and a DNA expert testified Monday that a relative of his might also be connected to the killing of his ex-girlfriend.

Lawyers for McLaughlin are presenting new evidence in a claim that he did not have effective legal representation when St. Louis County Circuit Judge Steven H. Goldman sentenced him to death.

McLaughlin, of Wright City, was convicted of abducting Beverly Guenther, 45, of Moscow Mills, from her workplace in Earth City and killing her in November 2003. In 2006, jurors found McLaughlin guilty of first-degree murder, rape and armed criminal action in the guilt phase of his trial but could not agree on punishment. Goldman ordered the capital sentence a month later.

State of Missouri vs. Gregory Bowman

SC90618 – Velda Rumfelt was murdered in 1977. There were ligature marks and a laceration around her throat. The medical examiner concluded that strangulation was the cause of death. No one was charged with the murder.

In 1979, Gregory Bowman was convicted in Illinois of killing Ruth Ann Jany and Elizabeth West and was sentenced to two concurrent terms of life imprisonment. In 2001, the convictions were vacated and new trials were ordered on grounds that Bowman’s confessions were coerced. Bowman remained in jail in Illinois until he posted bail in 2007.

Shortly after Bowman’s release from jail, James Rokita, an investigator with the Belleville, Illinois, police department, forwarded Bowman’s DNA profile to the St. Louis County police department. St. Louis County investigators compared Bowman’s DNA profile to the DNA profile extracted from sperm recovered from Rumfelt’s underwear. Bowman’s DNA profile matched the DNA profile of the sperm recovered from Rumfelt’s underwear. Bowman was charged with Rumfelt’s murder.

The State presented evidence that Bowman’s DNA was found in Rumfelt’s underwear. Dr. Mary Case, the St. Louis County medical examiner, testified that the cause of death was strangulation and that Rumfelt was the victim of a probable sexual assault. One of Rumfelt’s friends testified that she saw Rumfelt walking with an unidentified young man on the evening of June 5, 1977. Another friend testified that she saw Rumfelt on the morning of June 6, 1977. Rumfelt’s body was discovered on June 7, 1977. The jury convicted Bowman of first-degree murder.

Shockley sentenced to death for murder of state trooper

Lance Shockley received the death sentence on Friday for the March 2005 murder of Sergeant Carl Dewayne Graham Jr., a Missouri state trooper. The sentence was handed down by Judge David P. Evans of the 37th Judicial Circuit.

The prosecution claimed Shockley ambushed Graham while the Sergeant was in his driveway. Graham had investigated a fatal traffic crash in which Shockley reportedly was involved and fled.

More on this story at

The following description is from a story by Todd C. Frankel, published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on March 30, 2005:

Armed with a shotgun, a rifle and fresh directions to a state trooper’s home in the Missouri Ozarks, a 28-year-old man waited for the officer to get off work and then killed him, authorities said Tuesday.

Lance Shockley knew Sgt. Carl D. Graham was looking into his role in a fatal vehicle crash months ago, police said.

Graham was shot March 20 as he stepped out of his cruiser near Van Buren, Mo. He was hit once by a rifle bullet and then at least once by a shotgun blast, authorities said.

Shockley, 28, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder and armed criminal action, nine days after more than 60 state and federal agents flooded this rural area perhaps best known for its proximity to the Current River.

Shockley was already in custody Tuesday after his arrest March 23 in the fatal accident. He’d been labeled “a person of interest” by the Missouri Highway Patrol in the shooting. Shockley was at the Carter County Courthouse for a hearing in that case when the murder charge was added.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Shockley borrowed his grandmother’s red Pontiac Grand Am on March 20 and that same day asked someone for directions to Graham’s residence. Police said several witnesses spotted a red Grand Am parked on a secluded gravel road just north of the trooper’s home that day.

Shockley owns several firearms, including .223-caliber and .224-caliber rifles and at least one 12-gauge shotgun, according to the affidavit. A search of Shockley’s house in Van Buren turned up a spent .22-caliber shell. A forensics comparison determined it matched a bullet pulled from Graham, police said.

State of Missouri v. Terrance L. Anderson

SC83680 Supreme Court Opinion

On the night of July 25, 1997, Terrance Anderson went to the Poplar Bluff home of his girlfriend, Abbey Rainwater, with a gun. Earlier in the day, she had told him that she had gotten a restraining order to keep him away from her and their three-month-old daughter and that visitation would be arranged through the court. Anderson kicked in the door, and Abbey’s mother, Debbie, told her to run. Debbie, who was holding the child, got on her knees and begged for her life, but Anderson placed the gun against the back of Debbie’s head and fired it, killing Debbie instantly. Anderson subsequently took the child and went into the front yard. He pointed the gun at the baby’s head and yelled that he would shoot if Abbey did not come out. After Abbey’s father, Stephen, came home, Anderson approached Stephen, began talking to him, and shot Stephen in the forehead, killing him. Anderson still was holding the child at the time.

Anderson was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and was tried in Cape Girardeau County on a change of venue from Butler County. The jury found him guilty of both counts and recommended that he be sentenced to death for killing Debbie Rainwater and to life in prison without the possibility of probation or parole for killing Stephen Rainwater.

The court imposed the recommended sentences, and Anderson appeals.