Koster seeks execution dates for convicted killers

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 | 8:48 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri's attorney general on Tuesday asked for execution dates for a white supremacist who killed people in several states and for a stalled motorist who killed the man who helped him.

Attorney General Chris Koster asked the state Supreme Court to set execution dates for Joseph Franklin and Allen Nicklasson after a federal appeals court last month cleared the way for Missouri to resume scheduling executions by rejecting a lawsuit from eight inmates over the training and competence of the state's execution team.

Franklin was a drifter from Mobile, Ala., who said he tried to start a race war by moving throughout the country killing people. He was sentenced to death in Missouri for the sniper shooting in 1977 of Gerald Gordon in the parking lot of a synagogue.

When Franklin confessed in 1994, he already was serving life sentences in a federal prison for killing two black joggers in Salt Lake City, an interracial couple in Madison, Wis., and bombing a synagogue in Chattanooga, Tenn. He also claimed to be the shooter who paralyzed Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt.

Nicklasson was one of three people involved in the 1994 killing of Excelsior Springs businessman Richard Drummond, who stopped to help when their car broke down on Interstate 70 in Callaway County. Drummond was forced to drive the three men west, and then marched into a field in rural Lafayette County and shot twice in the back of the head by Nicklasson.

Nicklasson and accomplice Dennis Skillicorn — who was executed last year for Drummond's murder — then drove to Arizona and killed a couple after their car broke down in the desert.

Attorney Jennifer Herndon, who is representing both men in separate cases, said further appeals are likely.


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