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Alabama Executes Man Who Slit Throat of Girl, 7

Michael Samra took part in quadruple murder
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 17, 2019 12:31 AM CDT
This photo provided by the Alabama Department of Corrections shows Michael Brandon Samra.   (Alabama Department of Corrections via AP)

(Newser) – A man condemned for his role in a quadruple killing that followed a dispute over a pickup truck was put to death Thursday in Alabama after declining to make any last-minute appeals. Michael Brandon Samra, 41, was pronounced dead at 7:33pm following a three-drug lethal injection at Holman prison, authorities said. Samra and a friend, Mark Duke, were convicted of capital murder in the deaths of Duke's father, the father's girlfriend, and the woman's two daughters, ages six and seven, in 1997. The two adults were shot and the children had their throats slit. Evidence showed that Duke planned the killings because he was angry his father wouldn't let him use his pickup, the AP reports. Prosecutors said Samra slit the throat of 7-year-old Chelsea Hunt as she begged for mercy.

Though Duke and Samra were both originally convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death, Duke's sentence was overturned because he was 16 at the time, and the Supreme Court later banned executing inmates younger than 18 at the time of their crimes. Samra was 19 at the time. His attorneys asked the US Supreme Court Tuesday to consider expanding their ban to include 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds, but they declined to review the case. Samra made no 11th-hour appeals to the courts. "My heart goes out to the victims' families," said Alan Freedman, an attorney who represented Samra for 16 years. "He was remorseful, he was ready. He was ready a long time ago." (Read more execution stories.)

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