Convicted copkiller Thomas Andy Barefoot dodged four dates with...

Convicted copkiller Thomas Andy Barefoot dodged four dates with the executioner in Texas, but lost his last hope for a reprieve Monday, while the death stay request of Earnest Knighton was also rejected a final time by Louisiana's governor and the courts.

Both men were scheduled to be executed shortly after midnight.


Texas Gov. Mark White late Monday refused to halt Barefoot's death by injection, and a series of state and federal courts rejected last-ditch efforts to block Knighton's execution.

The state Supreme Court in Louisiana late Monday voted 6-0 in refusing to stop Knighton's scheduled death by electrocution. U.S. District Judge Tom Stagg in Shreveport, La., the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and the U.S. Supreme Court also refused to intervene.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court voted 7-2 to reject an appeal seeking to halt Barefoot's execution and review his conviction and sentence.

Meanwhile, North Carolina attorneys for Margie Velma Barfield, a convicted poisoner, filed an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court to stop her Friday execution. The 52-year-old grandmother, who admitted killing her mother and three others, would become the nation's first woman executed in 22 years.


Barefoot, 39, an oilfield roughneck who said God promised to spare him, spent Monday in his cell, visiting with relatives and friends, a prison spokesman in Huntsville, Texas, said.

'If God tells me it's not going to rain and I go get an umbrella, then it's going to rain,' Barefoot said.

Knighton, 38, faces 'Gruesome Gerdie,' nickname for Louisiana's battered electric chair in Angola, La.

Knighton's attorneys twice urged Gov. Edwin Edwards to stay his execution, claiming Knighton was drug crazed when he killed RalphShell of Bossier City, La., and took $300 from his service station.

Barefoot was convicted in the 1978 shooting death of Harker Heights police officer Carl LeVin.

He won two stays of execution in 1983 and one each in 1980 and 1981. His case was selected by the Supreme Court last year to test how to handle last-minute appeals to the federal courts.

'It's worse whenever I really think it's going to happen,' LeVin's widow said. 'I thought he was going to be executed in January '83. I'm at a fever pitch now. When it doesn't (happen), it hurts. It really hurts.'

LeVin was shot once in the head while investigating a case of arson. The .25-caliber pistol used in the slaying was found in Barefoot's pocket when he was arrested.


Barefoot's attorneys argued psychiatric testimony used in the punishment phase was gotten illegally and important information was suppressed.

They also wanted Texas officials to halt executions until the Supreme Court rules on whether execution by injection is legal.

Twenty-six people have been executed since the Supreme Court removed the ban on the death penalty eight years ago.

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