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article imageMissouri man executed for murder, rape of college student in 1995

By Nathan Salant     Aug 8, 2014 in Crime
Bonne Terre - A 43-year-old Missouri man convicted of raping and strangling a college student in 1995 was executed August 6 as his family members and those of his victim watched.
Michael Worthington died at 12:11 a.m., 10 minutes after being injected with pentobarbital at the Missouri's state prison in Bonne Terre, according to the Associated Press.
Worthington raped and killed 24-year-old Melinda "Mindy" Griffin while burglarizing her home in Lake St. Louis.
Worthington admitted choking Griffin until she blacked out and raping her before strangling her after she regained consciousness, Reuters reported.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon cited the brutality of the attack in refusing to block the execution Ausust 5.
"There is no question about the brutality of this crime — or doubt of Michael Worthington's guilt," the governor said.
The US Supreme Court also turned down Worthington's last-ditch challenge to the execution earlier Tuesday.
"I feel I'm glad he's dead," Griffin's mother, Carol Angelbeck, said after the execution.
"I won't have to deal with him, with our legal system -- it's just about Mindy now," she said.
Just before the procedure at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Worthington spoke with his witnesses while strapped to a gurney and covered by a sheet.
He had requested a Bible be placed on his chest.
In his last statement, Worthington said he expected to "wake up in a better place" and blamed his execution on politics surrounding the death penalty.
"May God forgive those who call this justice," his written statement said.
Worthington was the seventh inmate executed in Missouri this year, but the first in the country since botched executions in Arizona, Oklahoma and Ohio earlier this year.
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