UNITED STATES NEWS

Federal court reinstates death penalty order for Missouri inmate convicted of killing jailers

Jun 3, 2023, 11:55 AM

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has vacated a stay of execution for a Missouri inmate who is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday for his role in the deaths of two jailers.

Michael Tisius, 42, was sentenced to death after being convicted of killing Randolph County jailers Jason Acton and Leon Egley during a failed escape attempt.

U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough issued the stay on Wednesday and ordered an evidentiary hearing after Tisius’ attorneys argued that a juror in his 2010 resentencing was illiterate, which is not allowed under state law.

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit said the lower court did not have jurisdiction to order the stay.

Keith O’Connor, an attorney for Tisius, said his team will appeal the decision, the Kansas City Star reported.

Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty and the Missouri NAACP have asked Republican Gov. Mike Parson to grant Tisius clemency, citing a history of abuse, that he was 19-years-old at the time of the killings, and his remorse and rehabilitation since the shootings.

In 2000, Tisius and Tracie Bulington went to the Randolph County jail to help Bulington’s boyfriend, Roy Vance, escape, prosecutors said. Tisius shot and killed the jailers. The plot failed because the intruders couldn’t find the cell keys.

Defense attorneys have argued that Tisius intended to order the jailers into a holding cell and free Vance and other inmates.

Tisius’ defense team issued a video earlier this week in which Vance said he planned the escape attempt and manipulated Tisius into participating.

Bulington and Vance are serving life sentences.

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Federal court reinstates death penalty order for Missouri inmate convicted of killing jailers