UNITED STATES NEWS

Execution date set for Missouri man who killed his cousin and her husband in 2006

Dec 13, 2023, 11:59 AM

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday set an April execution date for Brian Dorsey, a central Missouri man convicted of killing his cousin and her husband in 2006.

The execution is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 9 at the state prison in Bonne Terre. It would be the first in 2024 in Missouri. Four of the 24 executions in the U.S. this year were in Missouri.

Dorsey, formerly of Jefferson City, was convicted of killing his cousin, Sarah Bonnie, and her husband, Ben, on Dec. 23, 2006, at their home near New Bloomfield. Prosecutors said that earlier that day, Dorsey had called Sarah Bonnie seeking to borrow money to pay two drug dealers who were at his apartment.

Dorsey went to the Bonnies’ home that night. After they went to bed, Dorsey took a shotgun from the garage and killed both of them before sexually assaulting Sarah Bonnie’s body, prosecutors said.

Sarah Bonnie’s parents found the bodies the next day. The couple’s 4-year-old daughter was unhurt.

Dorsey pleaded guilty in 2008 but later appealed the death sentence, claiming he should have instead been sentenced to life in prison without parole. The Missouri Supreme Court upheld the death sentence in 2010.

Another appeal filed on behalf of Dorsey alleged that he was suffering from mental illness at the time of the killings and that his lawyer was ineffective. The state Supreme Court again upheld the death sentence in 2014.

Missouri was among just five states to perform executions this year. The others were Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama and Florida.

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Execution date set for Missouri man who killed his cousin and her husband in 2006