Ex-gang member executed for double murderer after blunt 3-word response when asked for last words

Friday, April 4, 2024
 – An ex-gang member has been executed for a double-murder he claims he can't remember.

Michael Dewayne Smith, 41, killed two women in a vicious attack in 2002 while "high on drugs."

He received a lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, US, and was pronounced dead at 10.20 am local time (4.20pm BST) on Thursday, April 4.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, when given the opportunity to say his last words, Smith responded: "Nah, I'm good."

He had previously said of the murder spree: "I was high on drugs. I don’t even remember getting arrested."

In a phone interview with the Oklahoman on Monday, April 1, he added: "I don't want to die, man.

"Who can ever be prepared to die, man? I sure don't want to die for something I didn't do."

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied Smith's fourth request for an emergency stay of execution on Wednesday, April 3. He is the fourth person to be executed in the US this year.

Smith has always denied murdering Janet Moore, 40, and Sharath Babu Pulluru, 24, who were killed in separate incidents in February 2002. But in the lead-up to his death prosecutors branded Smith a ruthless gang member who slaughtered his two victims as part of a revenge plot.

Ms Moore, they claimed, was shot in her apartment as a then-19-year-old Smith searched for her son – who he believed had pointed cops in his direction. Meanwhile he shot Ms Pulluru nine times as he thought she had disrespected his gang during a newspaper interview. She was then doused in lighter fluid and set on fire.

Smith claimed he had been framed for the crimes.

Smith’s attorney, Mark Henricksen, claimed he was intellectually disabled – a condition made worse by years of hardcore drug use. Mr Henricksen argued Smith should be allowed to serve a life sentence rather than face the death penalty.

He also argued Smith was under the influence of PCP (Phencyclidine or phenylcyclohexyl piperidine, also known as angel dust) when he made an initial confession to police. He added key parts of Smith's admission were not supported by facts.

However, prosecutors rejected claims of intellectual disability, adding Smith remains a danger to society. They also noted he was caught with weapons on death row as recently as 2019.

"He has expressed a desire to kill more," said Assistant Attorney General Aspen Layman.

Post a Comment