TERRE HAUTE (AP) — The U.S. government has executed a former soldier who said an obsession with witchcraft led him to kill a Georgia nurse he believed had put a spell on him.
William Emmett LeCroy is the sixth federal inmate put to death this year at the U.S. prison in Terre Haute. Before that, there had been a 17-year hiatus without any federal executions.
Lawyers had asked President Donald Trump in a petition to commute LeCroy's sentence for killing Joann Lee Tiesler in 2001.
They said LeCroy's brother was killed during a routine traffic stop in 2010 and that another son's death would devastate the LeCroy family.
U.S. Department of Justice Spokeswoman Kerri Kupec issued the following statement following the execution:
Today, William Emmett LeCroy Jr., 50, was executed at U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute in accordance with the capital sentence recommended by a federal jury and imposed by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in 2004. LeCroy was pronounced dead at 9:06 p.m. EDT.
In October 2001, LeCroy robbed, raped and murdered Joann Lee Tiesler, a 30-year-old nurse. LeCroy had previously served 10 years in federal and state prison for, among other crimes, aggravated assault, burglary, child molestation, and statutory rape. After his release to supervised probation, LeCroy began planning to flee the country. In furtherance of that plan, LeCroy broke into Tiesler’s home in Gilmer County, Georgia. Once she returned, LeCroy attacked her with a shotgun, bound her hands behind her back with cable ties, strangled her with an electrical cord, and raped and sodomized her at the foot of her bed. He then slashed her throat with a knife and repeatedly stabbed her in the back. After murdering her, LeCroy stole her vehicle and drove to the Canadian border, where he was arrested. In March 2004, a federal jury found LeCroy guilty of carjacking resulting in death and unanimously recommended a sentence of death, which the district court imposed. His conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal, and his requests for collateral relief were rejected by every court that considered them.
Nearly 19 years after brutally ending the life of Joann Lee Tiesler, William Emmett LeCroy finally has faced the justice he deserved. Family members and loved ones of Tiesler, including her father and her fiancé, witnessed the execution.