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Execution date set for killer from Cape Girardeau

Execution date set for killer from Cape Girardeau

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Russell Bucklew, a murderer who was granted a stay of execution in 2014, has a new date to die by lethal injection.

The Missouri Supreme Court has set an execution date for Bucklew of March 20. The death warrant will be good for a 24-hour period only, beginning at 6 p.m. on that day.

Bucklew, 49, was convicted of killing a southeast Missouri man in a 1996 crime rampage. In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a last-minute stay of execution over concerns that Bucklew's rare medical condition could cause him great pain during the execution process.

Bucklew's medical condition, cavernous hemangioma, causes weakened and malformed blood vessels, and tumors in his nose and throat could rupture and bleed.

In 1997, a Boone County jury recommended the death penalty for Bucklew after convicting him of killing Michael Sanders, 27, the boyfriend of Bucklew's ex-girlfriend. The murder trial was moved to Boone County on a change of venue.

Sanders was killed at his Cape Girardeau County mobile home in March 1996. Bucklew was also found guilty of abducting and raping his ex-girlfriend, who was living with Sanders. Bucklew eventually drove the ex-girlfriend to the St. Louis area. He was captured after a shootout with police on Interstate 270 in Town and Country.

During the penalty phase of the trial, the ex-girlfriend's mother and the mother's fiance testified that during Bucklew's two-day escape from the Cape Girardeau County Jail, he attacked them with a hammer.

For more information on the legal wranglings over his medical condition, read a 2015 federal court decision here.

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