Mississippi set to carry out state’s first execution since 2012

FILE PHOTO: The entrance of the Mississippi State Penitentiary is seen in an undated photo provided by the Mississippi Department of Corrections in Parchman, Mississippi. REUTERS/Mississippi Department of Corrections/Handout via Reuters

(Reuters) – Mississippi is scheduled to carry out its first execution in nine years on Wednesday when it puts to death a man convicted of killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting his stepdaughter during a standoff with police in 2010.

David Cox, 50, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 6 p.m. local time at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman for the death of his wife Kim Cox.

Cox would be the first inmate executed in Mississippi since 2012 and the ninth executed in the United States in 2021. Mississippi is among the U.S. states that have had recent difficulties in buying lethal-injection drugs from pharmaceutical companies unwilling to supply them for executions.

Cox had petitioned the Mississippi Supreme Court for all attorneys to be removed from the case and all appeals on his behalf to be halted. In 2018, Cox wrote a letter to the court’s chief justice, saying that he was “a guilty man worthy of death.”

On May 14, 2010, Cox bought a gun and went to his sister-in-law’s Sherman, Mississippi, home where his estranged wife, their two children and his stepdaughter lived. Cox shot his way into the home and took his wife and two of the children hostage for more than eight hours, prosecutors said.

During the standoff with police, Cox shot his wife in the stomach and arm. As she lay dying for several hours, he sexually assaulted his stepdaughter three times in front of her. He also refused medical treatment for his wife, forcing her to beg for her life to hostage negotiators, court documents showed.

Police entered the home early the next morning and arrested Cox. A jury sentenced him to die in 2012 after he pleaded guilty to all eight charges he faced, including capital murder.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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