Image: Phillip Hallford
AP
Alabama death row inmate Phillip Hallford is scheduled to be executed Thursday in Alabama for the 1987 shooting death of 16-year-old Eddie Shannon in Dale County.
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updated 11/4/2010 7:45:47 PM ET 2010-11-04T23:45:47

A man condemned for the 1987 killing of his daughter's 16-year-old boyfriend in rural south Alabama has been executed by lethal injection.

Phillip Hallford was pronounced dead at 6:26 p.m. Central Standard Time on Thursday at Holman Prison. When asked if he had any final words, he said, "No."

Hallford spoke softly to the chaplain and guards for a few minutes as the lethal injection was administered, and then quietly slipped away.

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The 63-year-old Hallford, accused of sexually abusing his 15-year-old daughter, was sentenced to die for forcing her to lure Eddie Shannon to an isolated area in Dale County, shooting him three times and throwing the body off a bridge.

Hallford lost a bid for a stay of execution by the Alabama Supreme Court just hours before his execution. Gov. Bob Riley also refused to grant clemency.

Melinda Hallford Powell, who was 15 and pregnant at the time of the killing, said her father forced her to lure Shannon to the rural site in Dale County, where he shot him to death and threw the body off a nearby bridge. Then, she said, her father made a necklace with the casings from the bullets and forced her to wear it.

Powell, who now lives in North Carolina and is married with three children, said she had been sexually abused by her father and had lived "a nightmare" for years.

"You can't imagine what it was like. I was kind of a zombie after that," Powell told The Associated Press in a phone interview Wednesday night.

The Associated Press generally does not identify victims of sexual abuse, but Powell said her account of the abuse is in court records and she had no objections.

"I don't understand how someone can do the things that he's done," Powell said. "He's had a long list of excuses and denials. I wish he would 'fess up before he dies and tell everybody the truth."

According to trial testimony, Hallford was angry that his daughter was dating Shannon and, before dumping the body from the bridge, Hallford took the boy's wallet.

Shannon's stepmother, Angelita Johns, said in a statement that Hallford's execution "is long overdue."

"What Phillip Hallford did to my stepson Eddie Shannon was unforgivable," Johns said. "Eddie Shannon was an innocent 16-year-old just beginning to live his life."

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His stepbrother, David Ferguson of Enterprise, had planned to be among those witnessing the execution.

"It's finally justice for my brother and we're the ones here to stand up for him," said Ferguson. "I think it's been way too long. I think there may be some justice, but my biggest thing is why did it take so long?"

Powell said she regretted she would not be able to witness the execution, which she said would be "a relief."

"I'll be sweating out whether they are going to stop it this time," she said.

Alabama prison system officials said they had an adequate stock of sodium thiopental, a drug used in lethal injections that has been in short supply nationally. The shortage prompted some states to delay executions or go overseas to find the drug, which makes an inmate unconscious before other drugs cause paralysis and stop the heart.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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