The US government on Tuesday executed a former soldier who said an obsession with witchcraft led him to kill a Georgia nurse he believed had put a spell on him. William Emmett LeCroy, 50, was pronounced dead at 9:06pm EDT after receiving a lethal injection at the same US prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, where five others have been executed in 2020 following a 17-year period without a federal execution. LeCroy broke into the Cherrylog, Georgia, mountain home of Joann Lee Tiesler on Oct. 7, 2001, and waited for her to return from a shopping trip. When she walked through the door, LeCroy struck her with a shotgun, bound, and raped her. He then slashed her throat and repeatedly stabbed her in the back. The AP reports LeCroy had known Tiesler because she lived near a relative’s home and would often wave to her as he drove by.
He later told investigators he’d come to believe she might have been his old babysitter he called Tinkerbell, who LeCroy claimed sexually molested him as a child. He had ruminated for days before the slaying about how Tiesler was Tinkerbell and that assaulting her would reverse a hex she put on him. After killing Tiesler, he realized that couldn’t possibly be true. On Tuesday, LeCroy's spiritual adviser, Sister Barbara Battista, stood a few feet away from him inside the chamber. When a prison official asked if he had any last words, LeCroy responded matter-of-factly: “Sister Battista is about to receive in the postal service my last statement." Lawyers had asked President Trump in a petition to commute LeCroy’s sentence to life in prison, saying that LeCroy’s brother, Georgia State Trooper Chad LeCroy, was killed during a routine traffic stop in 2010 and that another son’s death would devastate their family.
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