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US man executed for wife's murder

16 March 2012, 13:01

United States - An Oklahoma man convicted of killing his wife with help from a relative of his mistress to collect insurance money was put to death by injection on Thursday.

Timothy Shaun Stemple shook his head no when asked if he had any last words, as members of his family and his wife's sat separately from each other watching the condemned man through glass.

The 46-year-old Stemple's family had asked the governor to stay the execution so that medical testimony disputing his accomplice's account of the 1996 attack on Trisha Stemple could be heard in court.

Trisha Stemple, 30, was beaten with a plastic-covered baseball bat and run over by a pickup truck on October 24 1996, along a Tulsa highway. Her husband maintained his innocence throughout the trial and appeals process.

"The state of Oklahoma murdered an innocent man today," said his mother, Lia Stemple by phone after the execution. "I don't want vengeance but I want the truth to be known so this doesn't happen to another family. My son was a noble man."

The New York-based Innocence Project also urged Governor Mary Fallin to stay the execution and called for additional DNA testing to be done.

Human blood was found on the plastic that was on the bat, but it was too deteriorated to determine whose it was, prosecutors said. His family hoped advances in DNA testing could help exonerate him.

Stemple's execution at the state prison in McAlester is the first of three scheduled over the next two months in Oklahoma.

Stemple's accomplice, Terry Hunt, said during a prison interview on Sunday that he was disappointed Stemple didn't confess when given the opportunity at a clemency hearing. "I'm not innocent and Shaun is not innocent," said Hunt, who's in prison serving a life sentence.

Hunt is the cousin of Dani Wood, who was having an affair with Timothy Stemple.


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