Missouri Inmate Convicted of Killing Jailers Gets Death Penalty Reinstated by Federal Court

For a Missouri prisoner who was convicted of murdering two jail guards and was about to be killed on Tuesday, a federal appeals court has lifted a stay of execution.

After being found guilty of murdering Randolph County jail guards Jason Acton and Leon Egley during an aborted breakout attempt, Michael Tisius, 42, received the death penalty.

The stay was imposed by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough on Wednesday after Tisius’ attorneys claimed that a juror in his 2010 resentencing was illiterate, which is against state law. Bough also mandated an evidentiary hearing.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled on Friday that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to impose the stay.

According to the Kansas City Star, Keith O’Connor, an attorney for Tisius, said his group would challenge the ruling.

The Missouri NAACP and Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty have petitioned Republican Governor Mike Parson to pardon Tisius, noting his background of abuse, the fact that he was 19 at the time of the killings, and his repentance and rehabilitation since the crimes.

The tweet below verifies the news:

According to the prosecution, Tisius and Tracie Bulington traveled to the Randolph County jail in 2000 to aid Bulington’s boyfriend Roy Vance in escaping. The jailers were murdered by Tisius’ gunshot. The intruders were unable to locate the cell keys, which resulted to the plot’s demise.

Defense lawyers contend that Tisius wanted to put the jailers in a holding cell so he could release Vance and other prisoners.

In a video released by Tisius’ defense team earlier this week, Vance claimed to have organized the escape attempt and coerced Tisius into taking part.

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Life sentences are being served by Bulington and Vance.

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