Mississippi plans to execute inmate for first time since 2012, officials say

Brendan Frank Horne had been on death row since 1989 after being convicted of murder in death of two people

Mississippi plans to execute inmate for first time since 2012, officials say

Mississippi plans to execute an inmate on Sunday for the first time since 2012 when he was convicted of killing two people.

The state plans to carry out the death sentence against Brendan Frank Horne, 47, in a prison near Jackson, Mississippi corrections department spokesman Solomon Graves said on Saturday.

In 2004, Horne was sentenced to death for shooting Brent Watson, 23, and Marlon Ellsworth Wilson, 21, at their duplex on 28 May 1989, the Milledgeville Globe Gazette reported. Watson was a security guard at University Medical Center of El Reno in Oklahoma.

Horne was also convicted of killing a Savannah man on 16 August 1989, the Panola Daily Citizen-Journal reported. Horne, who was 15 at the time, shot Robert Snell.

Court records said Horne shot his father more than 10 times at the family’s home in the community of Woodruff, leaving him seriously injured. Horne was arrested on the same day and confessed to both killings, court records said. Horne had been under 24-hour surveillance, the records said.

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Horne was 21 and at the time of his father’s death was scheduled to start a three-year hitch in the Air Force. After being convicted, Horne, who is black, was sentenced to death in 1990 by a Hinds County jury. The same jury sentenced him to die for killing Snell, and both sentences were carried out in 1990.

On 17 September 2012, Horne was convicted again of killing Watson and Wilson, this time by a Hinds County jury, and is currently scheduled to be executed at 8pm CDT.

Horne was not entitled to an attorney of choice because federal courts ruled that federal death penalty attorneys can’t represent people on death row who have been previously convicted of capital murder, the Associated Press reported.

In Mississippi, Horne’s attorney is Linda Jordan Barber.

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Barber has filed two appeals arguing that Horne has a mental disorder and must be granted a more attorney-protective counsel. The state’s attorney general has argued in federal court that Horne is mentally competent.

Barber has not received public communications on Horne’s case and did not respond to emailed questions from the AP about Horne’s mental health.

A total of 13 people have been executed in Mississippi since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976, the most recent being Randall Allred, on 3 May 2018.

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