South Dakota’s First Execution In FIVE YEARS Tonight! Last Meal? Moose Track Ice Cream

Published on 10/15/12 by Dailymail.co.uk — South Dakota’s first execution in five years – and only the second in more than half a century – is scheduled for Monday  night.

At 10 p.m. this evening, Eric Robert, 50, is  scheduled to die by lethal injection at the State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls.  Last April, he pleaded guilty to killing a prison guard Ronald Johnson during a  failed escape attempt.

For religious reasons, Roberts is spending  his final 40 hours fasting and as a result his last meal was on Saturday night  when he ate Moose Track ice cream – vanilla ice cream with peanut butter cups  and Moose Track Fudge.

Eric Robert is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Monday evening

Eric Robert is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Monday evening.

According to his lawyer, Mark Kadi, the fast  is religious in nature with 40 hours serving as a metaphor for the 40 day fast  of Christ in the Bible.

Opponents of the death penalty are expected  to begin a vigil outside the prison at eight p.m. Any last-minute appeal or stay  of execution is unlikely, as Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced last week that he  would not intervene.

Warden Doug Weber will accompany Robert into the execution chamber this evening, ask him for his last words and then give the signal to the execution team. The Minnehaha County coroner will be present to declare Robert dead.

None of Robert’s friends or family are  scheduled to attend, said Kadi.

‘He’s been very calm,’ Kadi told UPI.com.  ‘I’ve seen him angry and stressed out, and that’s not what he is right  now.’

Robert was serving an 80-year sentence for a  kidnapping conviction when he and Rodney Berget, 50, tried to escape from Sioux  Falls prison. The two men attacked prison guard Ronald Johnson with a pipe and  covered his mouth with plastic wrap.

Wearing Johnson’s uniform, Robert approached  the prison’s west gate pushing a cart loaded with Berget hidden in a  box.

As the men approached the gate, the  guards  became suspicious. There was a struggle, Robert beat one guard;  other guards  then quickly arrived and detained both inmates.

Johnson’s body was found on the floor in a  Pheasantland Industries building,  where inmates worked on upholstery, signs,  custom furniture and other  projects. Johnson was killed on his 63rd  birthday.

Months later, Robert told a judge that his  only regret was that he hadn’t  killed more guards. He then asked to be put to  death, saying he would  kill again.

Prison guard Ronald Johnson, left, was murdered by Eric Robert and Rodney Berget, right, on his 63rd birthday
Prison guard Ronald Johnson, left, was murdered by Eric Robert and Rodney Berget, right, on his 63rd birthday
 

Prison guard Ronald Johnson, left, was murdered by Eric  Robert and Rodney Berget, right, on his 63rd birthday.

Robert never appealed his sentence and even  tried to bypass a mandatory state review in hopes of expediting his  death.

Berget also pleaded guilty in the killing,  but has appealed his death sentence. A third inmate, Michael Nordman, 47, was  given a life sentence for providing materials used in the murder.

South Dakota’s last execution took place in  2007, and that had been the first in the state for 60 years. Only five inmates  are currently on death row, including Robert and Donald Moeller, 60, who is  expected to be executed later this month after he asked for appeals on his  behalf to be dropped.

‘You have few people on death row,  few  executions, and then you have this coincidence of cases coming all  at once,’  said Richard Dieter, executive director of the nonprofit Death Penalty  Information Center. ‘When people waive appeals, their cases  start to move more  quickly.’

Moeller is scheduled to be put to death the  week of Oct. 28 for the 1990  kidnapping, rape and murder of a nine-year-old  girl. Robert has been on  death row only for about a year, Moeller has been  there for more than  two decades.

A judge last week granted Moeller’s request  that appeals to stay his  execution be dropped. ‘I killed,’ Moeller said. ‘I  deserve to be  killed.’

Source: Dailymail.co.uk

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