Georgia executes man for 1998 murders of a father, two children
ATLANTA (Reuters) - A man described by a prosecutor as "pure damn evil" for killing two children and their father in 1998 was executed in Georgia on Wednesday.
Daniel Anthony Lucas, 37, was put to death by lethal injection at 9:54 p.m. local time at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, the Georgia Department of Corrections said.
Lucas confessed to fatally shooting Bryan Moss, 11, near Macon on April 23, 1998, after the boy arrived home from school and found Lucas and Brandon Rhode burglarizing the house, according to court records.
Rhode next shot Bryan's sister, Kristin Moss, 15, and their father, Steven Moss, 37, when they arrived home, and Lucas then "shot all three victims again to make sure they were dead," Lucas' attorneys wrote in court papers.
Georgia executed Rhode for the murders in 2010.
Lucas was the fifth person executed this year in Georgia and the 13th in the United States, according to the non-profit Death Penalty Information Center.
Lucas' lawyers described him as a changed man in a petition asking the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles to commute his sentence to life with parole, but the board denied the request late Tuesday. The U.S. Supreme Court denied Lucas' request for a stay of the execution on Wednesday.
"For the past 18 years he has devoted himself to learning and self improvement," the petition said. "He has been a model inmate. He has found faith."
After enduring an abusive childhood, Lucas became a "desperate alcoholic and addict, and he committed a horrible crime," his lawyers said, but is "not beyond redemption."
Lucas requested a last meal of meat pizza, steak and cheese calzone, stuffed Portobello mushroom, chef salad with ranch dressing and honey mustard dressing, and orange juice, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.