The attorney general's office has asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to set an execution date for condemned murderer Tracy Alan Hansen.
"We contend that Hansen has exhausted all of his state and federal appeals,'' said Assistant Attorney General Sonny White. "If the Supreme Court sets a date, (Hansen) could be the first execution we have had in a long time.''
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied an appeal from Hansen.
Hansen has been on Mississippi's death row for almost 15 years for the April 10, 1987, shooting death of Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol Officer Bruce Ladner.
Mississippi's last execution was in 1989, when Leo Edwards, 36, was put to death in the gas chamber for killing a convenience store clerk during a robbery in Jackson. Mississippi administers executions by lethal injection at the state penitentiary at Parchman. The state's aging gas chamber, also at Parchman, was taken out of service in 1998.
White identified three other longtime death row inmates also nearing the exhaustion of their appeals as:
- Jessie Derrel Williams, sentenced in Jackson County for the kidnapping and murder of Karen Ann Pierce on Jan. 12, 1983.
- Howard Neal, sentenced in Lamar County for the Oct., 24, 1981, kidnapping and murder of his niece, Amanda Joy Neal.
- Ron Chris Foster, sentenced in Lowndes County for the June 10, 1989, murder of convenience store clerk Danny Shelton.
Trooper Ladner was killed after he pulled over Hansen and Hansen's ex-girlfriend Anita Krecic during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 10 in Harrison County. Hansen and Krecic were wanted in connection with a robbery in Florida, records show.
After Hansen shot Ladner, he and Krecic stole the officer's gun and left the scene in Ladner's patrol car. They were captured a short time later in Hancock County.
Both were convicted in Harrison County. Krecic did not receive the death penalty and remains in prison.