A man was executed by lethal injection early Friday for the 1990 shooting deaths of his mother and stepfather.
Steven Van McHone, 35, gave no last statement. He appeared to mouth the words “I’m so sorry” to half brother Wesley Adams Jr., who supported the execution and drove from Ohio to witness it.
“We have sympathy and pray for comfort for those who will grieve Steve’s passing,” Adams said in a statement. “We do, however, feel that justice was upheld and that this fate was sealed many years ago.”
After fighting about money, McHone chased his mother, Mildred Adams, around her yard and shot her in the back of the head. His stepfather, Wesley Adams Sr., took the gun away, but McHone found a shotgun which he used to fatally shoot his stepfather.
Gov. Mike Easley denied clemency late Thursday.
“Given the facts and circumstances of this case, I find no compelling reasons to invalidate the sentences recommended by the jury and affirmed by the courts,” Easley said.
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal Thursday to stop the execution to consider his mother’s dying statement that McHone “didn’t mean to do it.”
Defense lawyers said McHone was maniacally drunk and had called his alcohol abuse counselor in a failed attempt to get help just before the shootings. They questioned his ability to form the intent to kill.