Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rutherford executed for killing woman 21 years ago

STARKE, Fla. (AP) — Convicted killer Arthur Rutherford was executed by lethal injection this evening for the 1985 murder of a Milton woman.

The governor's office said the 57-year-old Vietnam veteran and handyman was declared dead at 6:13 p.m.

Rutherford was executed after the U.S. Supreme Court denied his challenges over the state's lethal injection procedure and other issues.

He was condemned for the 1985, attack on 63-year-old Stella Salamon, a widow whose naked body was found submerged in the bathtub of her Panhandle home.

Rutherford was executed after the Supreme Court turned down four separate efforts by him today to halt his execution. Justice John Paul Stevens, alone among his colleagues, voted to grant a stay of execution.

Rutherford had last visits this morning with more than a dozen relatives, including his father, children, grandchildren, sisters and brothers. He ate a final meal of fried green tomatoes, fried eggplant, fried catfish, hush puppies and sweet tea.

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