Oklahoma executes convenience store killer

Jan. 9, 2014 at 9:02 PM
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MCALESTER, Okla., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- The state of Oklahoma Thursday executed Michael Lee Wilson, the last of three men given the death penalty for fatally beating a Tulsa convenience store clerk.

Wilson, 38, was pronounced death shortly after 6 p.m. at the state penitentiary in McAlester, the Tulsa World reported.

"I love everybody. Free is free," Wilson said in his last statement. "I am going home; I'm ready to go. I love you, world."

After asking a correctional officer if his microphone was still on, he added, "Love my daughters for me. I'm going to miss you always."

After pausing, Wilson said, "I feel my whole body burning."

Wilson was executed for killing Richard Yost, 30, who he worked with at a QuickTrip store, 18 years ago.

Yost's widow Angela Yost, two grown sons and mother-in-law were among the witnesses to his execution, as were Wilson's mother and four other family members, including a sister who sang a hymn as it took place.

Yost's family issued a written statement afterward: "Closure will be not hearing this on the news and reading about it in the paper. That is my closure not to relive his death over and over but to remember the good times."

Security video footage showed Wilson smiling and helping customers at the cash register while Yost was beaten to death with a baseball bat in the back of the store.

Co-defendants Darwin Demond Brown was executed in 2009 and Billy Don Alverson in 2011. A fourth defendant, Richard Harjo, is serving a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole.

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