How you can help Mexico earthquake victims

Arkansas executes inmate Ledell Lee in state’s first execution since 2005

Ledell Lee (Credit: Arkansas Dept. of Correction)

LINCOLN COUNTY, Ark. — Arkansas executed death row inmate Ledell Lee late Thursday night shortly after the US Supreme Court denied emergency motions in his case.

Lee was administered the lethal injection at 11:44 p.m. local time (12:44 a.m. ET) and pronounced dead 12 minutes later.

He requested Holy Communion as his last meal, and declined to make a final statement, the Arkansas Department of Corrections said.

His execution was Arkansas’ first since 2005. The state had planned to execute eight inmates over 10 days starting April 17, but four of the men have received stays for various reasons

Lee was convicted in 1995 in the murder of Debra Reese, 26, two years prior. Reese was found dead in her home in Jacksonville, Arkansas, where she had been strangled and beaten with a small wooden bat her husband gave her for protection.

Several of Reese’s neighbors saw Lee near the house and identified him to police.