Condemned Hansen Spends Final Hours Talking, Writing Letters - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Condemned Hansen Spends Final Hours Talking, Writing Letters

Tracy Alan Hansen spent the final hours before his scheduled Wednesday execution talking, asking questions and writing letters, penitentiary officials said. While talkative, Hansen also was "anxious,'' as he walked around his cell, occasionally rubbing his head, prison officials said in a statement.

If the life-claiming chemicals are injected into Hansen at 6 p.m. at the state penitentiary at Parchman, it will be Mississippi's first execution in 13 years and the first using lethal injection.

Hansen's last chance rested with the U.S. Supreme Court after Gov. Ronnie Musgrove denied clemency Tuesday to the man who gunned down a state trooper during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 10. Hansen's attorneys have filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the original indictment. Other appeals are possible in the final hours.

"Mr. Hansen received a fair trial. Numerous courts and judges reviewed his case and affirmed the guilty verdict,'' Musgrove said in rejecting clemency. "The sentence of death is just and it is justified.''

Hansen, 39, was sentenced to die for the April 10, 1987 death of State Trooper Bruce Ladner. Hansen's female companion was sentenced to life in prison.

Hansen was allowed to make collect telephone calls Wednesday morning and requested a final meal of seafood, including lobster, shrimp, crab meat and oysters. In an affidavit, the condemned man asked that he would like to have his spiritual adviser witness the execution if his attorneys could not be present.

Barring a successful late appeal, Hansen will be the first inmate executed in Mississippi since 1989 when Leo Edwards Jr. was put to death. Lengthy appeals in several cases have caused the long delay in Mississippi executions.

Musgrove asked Mississippians to pray for the Ladner family and for Hansen.

"May God have mercy on his soul,'' Musgrove said of Hansen.

The governor considered clemency requests from Hansen's attorneys and from Catholic and Episcopal bishops. He said he also read numerous documents and prayed.

"Anytime you have a decision of this magnitude, certainly it's a tough decision,'' said Musgrove, a death penalty supporter.

"Anytime you have a person's life in the balance, it's difficult.''

After Musgrove's news conference in the Woolfolk state office building, death penalty opponent Jan Hillegas waited outside to distribute copies of a 1993 appeal Hansen made to the state Supreme Court to have his death sentence overturned. It included a statement from Hansen: "If I had gotten a chance to speak to the jury at sentencing, I would have told them that I was very sorry about the killing.'' Hillegas said she had faxed a copy of the statement to Musgrove and hoped he would reconsider his decision denying clemency.

Assistant Attorney General Marvin "Sonny'' White, who handles death penalty appeals, said those affidavits have been included in all of Hansen's appeals since 1993. The Mississippi Supreme Court on Monday denied a request to grant a reprieve in the execution.

Attorney General Mike Moore said Tuesday he thinks Mississippi could have other executions in the next few months.

"The death penalty really only acts as a deterrent when it's carried out,'' Moore said.

Moore plans to watch Hansen's execution. Musgrove will be in Jackson and said he will stay in touch with attorneys about late appeals.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Hall of Fame billiards player Mike Massey using pool to spread the word of God

    Hall of Fame billiards player Mike Massey using pool to spread the word of God

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 12:14 AM EDT2017-07-26 04:14:13 GMT

    Mike Massey says he's been on a mission since he had a spiritual experience.  He's using pool and the bible to spread the word through his Gospel Trick Shot Ministry.  

    More >>

    Mike Massey says he's been on a mission since he had a spiritual experience.  He's using pool and the bible to spread the word through his Gospel Trick Shot Ministry.  

    More >>
  • Biloxi Shuckers held off the Blue Wahoos 5-4 in Pensacola Tuesday night

    Biloxi Shuckers held off the Blue Wahoos 5-4 in Pensacola Tuesday night

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 10:39 PM EDT2017-07-26 02:39:53 GMT

    The Biloxi Shuckers were coasting under the win column until Pensacola exploded for three runs in the bottom of the ninth to close the gap.  Luckily, Biloxi would close the door on the Blue Wahoos rally.

    More >>

    The Biloxi Shuckers were coasting under the win column until Pensacola exploded for three runs in the bottom of the ninth to close the gap.  Luckily, Biloxi would close the door on the Blue Wahoos rally.

    More >>
  • Bus drivers preparing for school year

    Bus drivers preparing for school year

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 10:38 PM EDT2017-07-26 02:38:14 GMT
    234 Harrison County School District buses hit the roads every day. (Photo source: WLOX News)234 Harrison County School District buses hit the roads every day. (Photo source: WLOX News)

    In less than two weeks most schools across the Coast will be back in session and the roads will be filled with school buses.  Leading up to the first day of school Harrison County offers training for new bus drivers with the focus on a top priority. 

    More >>

    In less than two weeks most schools across the Coast will be back in session and the roads will be filled with school buses.  Leading up to the first day of school Harrison County offers training for new bus drivers with the focus on a top priority. 

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Officers kill man with no active warrants at wrong house

    Officers kill man with no active warrants at wrong house

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 10:15 PM EDT2017-07-26 02:15:09 GMT
    (Source: Family)(Source: Family)

    Documents show that Southaven officers went to the wrong house to serve a warrant on Monday, which resulted in the shooting death of a man who did not have any active warrants out for his arrest.

    More >>

    Documents show that Southaven officers went to the wrong house to serve a warrant on Monday, which resulted in the shooting death of a man who did not have any active warrants out for his arrest.

    More >>
  • Teen livestreamed crash that killed her sister

    Teen livestreamed crash that killed her sister

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 1:22 AM EDT2017-07-25 05:22:29 GMT
    Tuesday, July 25 2017 1:22 AM EDT2017-07-25 05:22:29 GMT

    Obdulia Sanchez was under the influence and livestreaming on Instagram when she rolled her car over into a barbed-wire fence and then a field. The crash killed her 14-year-old sister, Jacqueline.

    More >>

    Obdulia Sanchez was under the influence and livestreaming on Instagram when she rolled her car over into a barbed-wire fence and then a field. The crash killed her 14-year-old sister, Jacqueline.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly