Court sets execution for March
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday set March 12 as the execution date for Mayes County death row inmate Steven Ray Thacker, 42. Attorney General Scott Pruitt requested the execution date Jan. 7 after the U.S. Supreme Court denied Thacker's final appeal. Thacker pleaded guilty in December 2002 to the kidnapping, rape and first-degree murder of Laci Dawn Hill, 25, of Bixby. Authorities said Thacker, originally from Chouteau, attempted in 1999 to rob Hill in her home, but when that failed, he kidnapped her, took her to a rural cabin and raped her. Thacker attempted to strangle Hill, but eventually stabbed her in the chest and neck, prosecutors said. Thacker fled to Missouri where he killed a man and stole his car, along with his credit cards. Thacker drove to Tennessee where he killed a tow-truck driver. Thacker was apprehended in Tennessee. He was given a death sentence for killing the tow truck driver and a life sentence for killing the Missouri man.
MICHAEL MCNUTT, CAPITOL BUREAU