Man executed in death of elderly woman

PARCHMAN, MS (AP) - A Mississippi man convicted of the shotgun slaying of an elderly woman whose body was left near a rural bridge has been executed.

Corrections officials said 38-year-old Rodney Gray was pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m. CDT Tuesday at the state penitentiary at Parchman.

Gray was sentenced to death in 1996 for killing 79-year-old Grace Blackwell of Louin, whose body was found Aug. 15, 1994, at the end of a Newton County bridge.

Blackwell died from a shotgun wound to the head. Blackwell was last seen after cashing a $1,200 check at the woman's bank, and her car was later found behind a service station.

In court records, prosecutors said Blackwell's blood was found on Gray's clothing. Gray was visited by his mother Tuesday.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected his last appeal.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)