Georgia to execute man for 1998 murders of a father, 2 children

Mississippi House Approves Execution By Firing Squad
Mississippi House Approves Execution By Firing Squad



ATLANTA, April 27 (Reuters) - A man described by a prosecutor as "pure damn evil" for killing two children and their father in 1998 is due to be executed in Georgia on Wednesday.

Daniel Anthony Lucas, 37, confessed to fatally shooting Bryan Moss, 11, near Macon on April 23, 1998, after the boy arrived home from school and found Lucas and Brandon Rhode burglarizing the house, according to court records.

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Rhode next shot Bryan's sister, Kristin Moss, 15, and their father, Steven Moss, 37, when they arrived home, and Lucas then "shot all three victims again to make sure they were dead," Lucas' attorneys wrote in court papers.

Georgia Death Penalty
Georgia Death Penalty

Georgia executed Rhode for the murders in 2010. Lucas, who was convicted of the crimes in 1999, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 7 p.m. EST at the state prison in Jackson.

He would be the fifth person executed this year in Georgia and the 13th in the United States, according to the non-profit Death Penalty Information Center.

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Lucas' lawyers describe him as a changed man in a petition asking the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles to commute the inmate's sentence to life with parole, but the board denied the request late Tuesday.

"For the past 18 years he has devoted himself to learning and self improvement," the petition said. "He has been a model inmate. He has found faith."

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After enduring an abusive childhood, Lucas became a "desperate alcoholic and addict, and he committed a horrible crime," his lawyers said, but is "not beyond redemption."

Lucas requested a last meal of meat pizza, steak and cheese calzone, stuffed Portobello mushroom, chef salad with ranch dressing and honey mustard dressing, and orange juice, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections. (Editing by Karen Brooks and Chizu Nomiyama)