More than two decades ago, a man was executed by lethal injection in the United States for the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl.
Thomas Edwin Loden Jr was pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m. local time Wednesday in Mississippi, the state’s second inmate to be executed in 10 years, officials said.
Lowden has been on death row since 2001 after he pleaded guilty to murder, rape and four counts of sexual assault against Lisa Marie Gray.
When Lowden forced her into his van in June 2000, she was trapped with a flat tire.
According to his interviews with investigators, the Marine Corps recruiter sexually assaulted her for four hours before strangling and suffocating her.
Loden was later found lying on the side of the road with the word “sorry” carved on his chest and cuts to his wrists, court records show.
He is one of five death row inmates suing Mississippi over the lethal injection protocol.
A federal judge declined to block the execution, although the lawsuit is still pending.
Officials said Loden “felt remorse for his family” before he was executed.
Ms. Gray was working as a waitress at her uncle’s restaurant in northeast Mississippi the summer before she was supposed to be entering her senior year of high school.
She left work after dark on June 22, 2000 and got stranded on a country road with a flat tire.
Loden met Gray on the road at around 10:45 p.m. and began talking to the teen about the flat tire, saying: “Don’t worry. I’m a Marine. We’ll do this kind of thing.” .”
Lowden told investigators that after Gray allegedly said she never wanted to be a Marine, he became angry and ordered her into his van.
“I hope you leave here today with some sense of justice,” Loden told Gray’s friends and family during sentencing after pleading guilty in September 2001.
Ms Gray’s mother, Wanda Farris, described her daughter as a “happy, carefree, always smiling” teenager aspiring to be a primary school teacher.