McALESTER (AP) — A man convicted of committing three murders in three states during a 10-day rampage was executed Tuesday in Oklahoma for one of the murders, the 1999 death of a woman whose credit cards he used to buy Christmas presents for his family.
Steven Ray Thacker, 42, used his final statement to apologize to his victims' relatives, several of whom witnessed his execution from an adjacent room at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
“I don't deserve it, but as God has forgiven me, I hope you will forgive me for the pain I've caused,” Thacker said while strapped to a hospital gurney. He then thanked his family and friends for their support, and added: “An eternity in heaven is mine.”
Thacker then winked at his stepfather, Donald Johnston, who silently nodded back at him. Thacker was pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m.
Thacker, a laid-off plumber's apprentice, was convicted of abducting 25-year-old Laci Dawn Hill from her home at Bixby after going there under the guise of looking at a pool table she had advertised for sale. Her body was found six days later at a cabin in Mayes County, east of Tulsa. She had been raped and stabbed.
According to prosecutors, Thacker fled Oklahoma, stole a car in Springfield, Mo., and broke into a Missouri home looking for money. Forrest Reed Boyd, 24, arrived at his Aldrich home mid-theft and was stabbed to death by Thacker, who received a life sentence in that case.