Dec 5, 2012 6:27 PM by Lupita Murillo

Convicted killer executed

FLORENCE - An Arizona death row inmate was executed Wednesday morning, more than 20 years after the grisly murders he committed. Richard Stokley died by lethal injection at the Arizona State Prison complex, in Florence.

The 60-year-old was convicted of raping and murdering two 13-year-old girls in 1991 in rural Cochise County.

A second man convicted in the same crime was released on a plea deal after serving 20 years.

News 4 Tucson's Lupita Murillo was Tucson's only television reporter to witness the execution.

With Stokley strapped to the gurney, the execution team began the process of finding a vein to inject him with pentobarbital. Arizona Department of Corrections spokesman Bill Lamoreaux says, "At 10:52 this morning the execution started and death was at 11:12 am. The inmate did not have any last words."

Richard Stokley did not look at the witnesses after the curtains were drawn. Patty Hancock's daughter Mandy Meyers was one of the victims.

"He was a coward from the beginning and he died a coward because he couldn't face us," she said.

Wearing t-shirts with Mandy Meyers picture, Patty and Dennis Hancock were in front of the window so Stokley could see his victim for the last time.

"What do you expect from a heartless man with no soul."

Mary Snyder was the other victim, her mother cried after the execution, her other daughter Elisha Gonzales broke her silence after two decades.

"I hope that this will bring closure to my parents so they can heal the break that is in their heart. We can now be at peace and rejoice in the day that in the far far future we will be with Mary and Mandy and we know they are here with us today," she said.

The families say they can now wake up tomorrow morning and know that Richard Stokley has finally paid for his crimes.


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