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The Latest: Alabama executes man for 1997 quadruple killing

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ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on the scheduled Alabama execution of a man convicted in a quadruple killing (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

Prison officials say 41-year-old inmate Michael Brandon Samra was pronounced dead at 7:33 p.m. following a lethal injection at the state prison at Atmore.

Samra and a friend, Mark Duke, were convicted of capital murder in the deaths of Duke’s father, the father’s girlfriend and the woman’s two young daughters in 1997. Evidence showed that Duke planned the killings because he was angry his father wouldn’t let him use his pickup.

In a last statement, Samra made a profession of Christian faith, saying, “I would like to thank Jesus for everything he has done for me” and ending with the word ‘amen’ as he lay strapped on a gurney.

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After the drugs began flowing, Samra went still and his chest heaved three times. He took a few deep breaths and his head moved slightly. Moments later, Samra’s hands curled inward, his chest moved like he was taking some breaths and his mouth fell slightly agape before he was pronounced dead.

A statement from the families of victims released afterward thanked the community for support on their “painful journey” and added: “Today justice was carried out.”

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7:40 p.m.

Alabama has executed a man for a quadruple killing in 1997 that followed a dispute over the use of a pickup truck.

Authorities say 41-year-old Michael Brandon Samra was given a lethal injection Thursday evening at the state prison in Atmore. Officials did not immediately release a time of death.

Samra and friend Mark Duke were convicted of killing Duke’s father, the father’s girlfriend and the woman’s two elementary-age daughters in March 1997. Evidence showed Duke planned the killings because his father wouldn’t let him use his pickup. The father and the girlfriend were shot and the children had their throats slit.

Duke and Samra both were originally sentenced to death, but Duke’s sentence was overturned because he was 16 at the time of the killings. Samra was 19 at the time.

Another execution was scheduled later Thursday evening in Tennessee.

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4:50 p.m.

An Alabama inmate awaiting lethal injection for a quadruple murder is visiting with friends and a spiritual adviser.

Prison spokesman Bob Horton says 41-year-old Michael Brandon Samra saw six friends and the adviser leading up to his scheduled execution Thursday night.

Horton says the man met earlier with his attorneys, who will be among the witnesses as Samra is put to death for the slayings of two adults and two young girls in 1997.

The spokesman says seven relatives of the victims plan to witness the execution, but none of Samra’s family will attend.

Evidence showed the slayings stemmed from a friend’s argument with his father over use of a pickup truck. The friend was initially sentenced to death but is now serving life without parole.

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10:50 a.m.

An attorney for an Alabama inmate set for execution Thursday night says the governor has denied his request for a reprieve.

The decision apparently clears the way for Michael Brandon Samra to be put to death by lethal injection since the defense doesn’t plan to file last-minute appeals.

A lawyer for Samra, Steven Sears, says he received the denial from Gov. Kay Ivey’s office on Thursday morning.

Ivey’s staff hasn’t responded to an email seeking comment.

Samra was convicted of capital murder in the killing of two adults and two young girls near Birmingham in 1997. Evidence showed the slayings stemmed from a friend’s argument with his father over use of a pickup truck.

The clemency request highlighted the fact that the 41-year-old Samra was only 19 at the time of the killings.

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9:45 a.m.

The lawyer for an Alabama inmate set for lethal injection in a quadruple killing says he doesn’t anticipate any last-minute appeals to block the execution set for Thursday night.

Steven Sears tells The Associated Press in an email that he doesn’t plan to file additional litigation on behalf of 41-year-old Michael Brandon Samra.

Sears says he’s awaiting Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s response to a clemency request made last week.

Ivey’s press office didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Samra was convicted of capital murder in the killing of two adults and two young girls in a Birmingham suburb in 1997. Evidence showed the slayings stemmed from a friend’s argument with his father over a pickup truck.

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12:10 a.m.

A man convicted of murder in a quadruple killing after a dispute over a pickup truck is set to be executed in Alabama.

Forty-one-year-old Michael Brandon Samra is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Thursday evening at the state prison in Atmore.

Samra and friend Mark Duke were convicted of killing Duke’s father, the father’s girlfriend and the woman’s two elementary-age daughters in March 1997. Evidence showed Duke planned the killings because his father wouldn’t let him use his pickup.

Duke and Samra both were originally sentenced to death, but Duke’s sentence was overturned because he was 16 at the time of the killings. Samra was 19 at the time.

Another execution is scheduled Thursday in Tennessee .

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

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