Update: December 11, 2013
The United States Supreme Court at approximately 10:45 PM EST lifted a stay of execution granted Allen Nicklasson by the United States 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. After a three judge panel of the 8th Circuit granted the stay in a 2/1 decision the Missouri Attorney General asked the full panel of judges of the eighth circuit to review the decision of the three judge panel - they declined forced the Missouri appeal to the United States Supreme Court. Missouri has until 11:59 PM CST tonight to execute Allen Nicklasson or his death warrant will expire. The State of Missouri intends to carry out Allen Nicklasson's execution tonight.
Update: December 10, 2013
Earlier this morning, Missouri’s Attorney General appealed a stay of execution granted to Allen Nicklasson by a three judge panel of the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals. The full 8th US Circuit Court refused to hear the case. Missouri has now appealed the stay to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Update: December 10, 2013
Shortly after a three judge panel of the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay of execution for Allen Nicklasson, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office filed an appeal asking that the entire 8th Circuit Court of Appeals hear the case. Nicklasson is scheduled for execution at 12:01 am on December 11, 2013.
Update: December 10, 2013
Allen Nicklasson was scheduled to be executed at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Corrections Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri, shortly after midnight on December 11, 2013. The execution was stayed by a 2-1 vote of a three judge panel of the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals due to claims of ineffective counsel. This is the second execution Allen has had stayed this year. An earlier execution, on October 23, 2013, was stayed due to problems surrounding the execution drugs. Those problems were resolved last month and Joseph Franklin became the first person executed in Missouri in three years.
Update: December 8, 2013
Allen Nicklasson’s execution is scheduled for 12:01 am CST, on December 11, 2013, at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Corrections Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri. Forty-one-year-old Allen is convicted of the August 24, 1994 murder of 47-year-old Richard Drummond in Callaway County, Missouri. For the past 19 years, Allen has been on Missouri’s death row.
Allen was scheduled for execution earlier this year, on October 23, however his execution was stayed due to concerns surrounding the execution drugs. Last year, Missouri mistakenly received a shipment of propofol, an anesthetic drug widely used in hospitals around the world during surgeries. It is also famous for being the drug from which killed singer Michael Jackson. The German company who manufactures the drug was upset to learn that it had been delivered to a prison and that the prison intended to use it to carry out executions, which the company, like most of Europe, strongly opposes. Due to Missouri’s refusal to return the drugs, the company ceased shipping the drug to several distributors in the United States last year, instead delivering to hospitals only. Shipments resumed to distributors earlier this year, and Missouri has since returned the mistakenly-delivered shipment.
In late August 1994, Allen Nicklasson, Dennis Skillicorn, and Tim DeGraffenreid went to Kansas City to purchase illegal drugs. On their return trip on August 23, the 1983 Chevrolet Caprice they were driving broke down. A police trooper stopped and offered to help them, but the group refused. The next day, August 24, the trio robbed the house of Merlin Smith, stealing guns and money. They used the money to pay for a tow to the nearest town for repairs. The damage to the car was extensive and the mechanic was unable to repair all the damage. The trio again tried to drive home, but stalled at approximately the same location as the robbery.
Richard Drummond, a technical support supervisor for AT&T, stopped between 4 and 5 pm and offered to help the group. Richard was driving a white company car. The three men got into Richard’s car, after transferring their stolen goods, with Nicklasson and Skillicorn sitting in the back seat, both armed. Nicklasson pulled a gun and held it to Richard’s head, telling him to drive. Richard’s car phone was thrown from the car. Nicklasson and Skillicorn had at least one conversation about what to do with Richard and how to prevent him from contacting the police. Skillicorn was concerned that the conversation was going to cause Richard to panic.
Nicklasson instructed Richard to pull the car over in a secluded area and to get out. Nicklasson led Richard into a wooded area, where he shot Richard twice, killing him. According to Nicklasson and Skillicorn, Skillicorn did not know that Nicklasson was going to kill Richard. Skillicorn believed that Nicklasson was simply going to tie up Richard. Richard’s remains were found eight days later.
Nicklasson and Skillicorn dropped DeGraffenreid off in Blue Springs and continued driving until the car got stuck in the Arizona desert. Joe Babcock, who lived nearby with his wife, offered to help them with their vehicle. As Joe assisted the duo, Nicklasson shot and killed him. Nicklasson then went back to the house, shot Joe’s wife Charlene, and took their vehicle.
Nicklasson and Skillicorn were arrested six weeks later while hitchhiking in California. DeGraffenreid had already been arrested by police and led them to Richard’s body.
According to Skillicorn’s lawyer, Nicklasson was “truly, mentally ill,” and had failed to take his medication the day of the murder. Additionally, Skillicorn’s lawyer further elaborated on Nicklasson’s childhood. His mother worked as a prostitute and hid him in the closet while seeing customers. At the age of four, Nicklasson stabbed a man he witnessed raping his mother. At the age of nine, he attacked his stepfather, who pressed charges, landing Nicklasson in a juvenile detention center. He was later moved to a regular prison. Nicklasson was release on parole after he begged not to be released and the prison psychiatrist advised against his release. It was shortly after his release that he met Skillicorn, who was on parole for murder.
Nicklasson was convicted of murder in 1996 and received the death penalty. Skillicorn was also convicted and received the death penalty for his part in the crime. He was executed on May 20, 2009. Tim DeGraffenreid was 17, a minor at the time of the crime. He pled guilty to 2nd degree murder and received a life sentence.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Richard Drummond and Joe and Charlene Babcock. Please pray for strength for the family of Allen Nicklasson. Please pray that Allen may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already found one.