Missouri death row inmate maintains innocence in killings, hours before execution

David Hosier, the Missouri inmate scheduled to be executed Tuesday evening for a 2009 double murder, is proclaiming his innocence to the very end while reflecting on what he says he's learned.

"I've been able to speak the truth of my innocence. I've been able to set an example of resistance to lawyers who bully their clients," according to a final statement that he intends to say before he is put to death that was shared with NBC News. "I've been able to reminisce with family and friends new and old. I've been able to learn to be the fullest version of me."

Hosier, 69, also plans to thank his spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeff Hood, who has been involved in other high-profile death row cases, including the first execution in the U.S. using nitrogen gas earlier this year.

Hosier's execution by lethal injection is expected to begin around 6 p.m. local time at the state prison in Bonne Terre. While death penalty cases are typically held up by 11th-hour appeals and ongoing litigation, often with the U.S. Supreme Court making a final ruling, no further appeals are pending in Hosier's case, he said.

His legal team didn't respond to requests for comment.

In previous interviews from prison, Hosier told NBC News that he was frustrated over how his lawyers presented his clemency petition by focusing on his childhood and the effects on his mental state rather than the circumstances of the crime.

A 19-page clemency petition notes childhood trauma from the murder of his own father as a mitigating factor in Hosier's case. Hosier's father, Glen Hosier, was an Indiana state trooper who was killed in the line of duty when Hosier was 16.

"David fell into a lifelong depression, and while at times he seemed to be on the verge of some success, his mental health struggles would ultimately dictate his life's course," the petition said, while also underscoring his "record of service" by joining the Navy and becoming an EMT and firefighter as an adult.

Hosier said he disagreed with the angle his lawyers took.

"Fifty-three years ago, my dad was killed," he said. "I told them I didn't want any of that used. It doesn't have anything to do with this case."

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson rejected Hosier's clemency submission Monday, saying the execution would be carried out because "he displays no remorse for his senseless violence" and "earned maximum punishment under the law."

Hosier was convicted in the shooting deaths of Jefferson City couple Rodney and Angela Gilpin. He admitted to having an extramarital affair with Gilpin while she was separated from her husband.

But Gilpin ended the relationship with Hosier and she reconciled with her husband, according to court documents. A month later, prosecutors said Hosier broke into their apartment and killed the couple.

Prosecutors painted Hosier as a scorned ex-lover who was out for revenge, saying Gilpin's purse contained an application for a protective order against Hosier, as well as a document saying she was afraid Hosier might shoot her and her husband.

After the bodies were discovered, Hosier was arrested in Oklahoma, where law enforcement recovered 15 firearms, numerous rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest and a knife from his car. According to court documents, all of the guns were loaded except for a World War II-era machine gun, which prosecutors said was the murder weapon. Ballistics testing results, however, had been "inconclusive," a criminalist testified at Hosier's trial.

There was also an incriminating note in the front seat of Hosier's car, prosecutors said, that read in part: "If you are going with someone do not lie to them" and "be honest with them if there is something wrong. If you do not this could happen to YOU!!”

Hosier said he wasn't trying to flee when he was arrested in Oklahoma, saying he liked going for long drives to clear his mind and often took his guns with him because he hunted.

"I know two people were killed. I know I got blamed for it," he told NBC News recently, adding that there were no eyewitnesses, fingerprints or DNA evidence tying him to the crime scene.

In May, Hosier was moved from his prison to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, which causes a highly irregular pulse rate. During an interview from prison last week, he was winded and short of breath.

In his final words from the execution chamber, he intends to say, "I leave you all with love."

"Don't cry for me," his written statement says. "Just join me when your time comes."

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