Death sentence upheld in 2000 murder of jail guards

Boone County judge sentences Michael Tisius to death
Monday, September 27, 2010 | 3:55 p.m. CDT; updated 5:33 p.m. CDT, Monday, September 27, 2010

COLUMBIA — Michael Tisius couldn't come up with a good answer when Boone County Circuit Judge Gary Oxenhandler asked why he shouldn't be sentenced to death.

“I have no idea,” said Tisius, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of two unarmed guards at the Randolph County Jail in 2000. Tisius shot Leon Egley and Jason Acton while trying to help a former cellmate escape, according to a previous Missourian report.

Monday's hearing was the final disposition of Tisius' sentencing. Oxenhandler upheld the jury's recommendation that he be sentenced to death. 

Tisius was originally convicted and sentenced in 2001; and he had a retrial for the penalty phase in July.

During the final sentencing, Tisius said his lawyer did not represent him effectively.

Allen Acton, Jason Acton's brother, testified during Monday's hearing.

“(Jason) had his whole life ahead of him, and this man took his chance away,” Acton said.

No date for Tisius's execution has been set. Randolph County Prosecutor Mike Fusselman said it could be seven or eight years before Tisius is put to death.


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