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Missouri Executes Man For Killing Two Jailers 23 Years Ago

A Missouri man who shot and killed two jailers in 2000 ago during a failed bid to help an acquaintance escape from a rural jail was executed Tuesday. Michael Tisius, 42, was convicted of killing Leon Egley and Jason Acton at the Randolph County Jail, the Associated Press reports. In a written statement, Tisius said he tried hard “to become a better man,” and he expressed remorse for his crimes. Tisius’ lawyers urged the U.S. Supreme Court to block the execution, alleging that a juror at a sentencing hearing was illiterate, in violation of Missouri law. The court rejected that motion.


The Supreme Court previously turned aside an argument that Tisius should be spared because he was just 19 at the time of the killings. A 2005 Supreme Court ruling bars executions of those under 18 when their crime occurred. Attorneys for Tisius had argued that even at 19, Tisius should have had his sentence commuted to life in prison without parole. Advocates for Tisius had said he was largely neglected as a child and was homeless by his early teens. In 1999, Tisius was jailed on a misdemeanor charge of pawning a rented stereo system. In June 2000, Tisius was housed on that charge at the same county jail with inmate Roy Vance. Tisius was about to be released. The men discussed a plan in which Tisius, once he was out, would help Vance escape. Tisius went to the jail accompanied by Vance’s girlfriend. They told Egley and Acton that they were there to deliver cigarettes to Vance. Tisius shot and killed Acton. When Egley approached, Tisius shot him, too. Both officers were unarmed.


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