A Mississippi man about to be executed for the murder of another woman had to tell a courtroom where his sister-in-law’s body was when he was nearly put to death three years ago.
The Clarion Ledger reports that Willie Jerome Manning was set to be executed in November 2016 but two weeks before the scheduled time he revealed that his sister-in-law, Melva Jackson, had been killed several months earlier.
Jackson, 52, was strangled, burned and dumped in the woods. Her body was discovered in a shallow grave several months later by a local farmer, according to the paper.
Manning, 48, is set to be executed at 7 p.m. CDT Sunday for Jackson’s murder.
The Justice Department last week objected to the state’s use of the sedative midazolam, telling the U.S. Supreme Court it could find no case involving a federal drug supplier since midazolam was the drug used in three executions that went wrong in Oklahoma in April.
Manning’s attorney, Jasmine Rand, described the federal agency’s opposition as “insinuation and misinformation.”
Manning “never threatened the evidence. If Mr. Manning had, then every other prosecutor in Mississippi would’ve refused to present it,” Rand said, noting the defense couldn’t appeal.
A judge also ruled earlier this week that the state’s use of midazolam was not necessarily unconstitutional.
Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, initially halted all executions in the state for 14 months after Jackson’s death, but he re-examined the decision last week, saying the state must enforce the death penalty.
Fox News’ Bruce Geiselman contributed to this report.