Alabama executes man for 1997 quadruple murder that followed dispute about a pickup truck

Authorities say 41-year-old Michael Brandon Samra was given a lethal injection Thursday evening at the state prison in Atmore.

Posted: May 16, 2019 7:43 PM
Updated: May 16, 2019 9:28 PM

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) - 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.

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."

Governor Kay Ivey released the statement below:

“For more than 20 years, the loved ones of Randy, Dedra and the two young daughters Chelisa and Chelsea have mourned an unbearable and unimaginable loss. Four lives were brutally taken far too soon because of the malicious, intentional and planned-out murders by Michael Brandon Samra.

“Alabama will not stand for the loss of life in our state, and with this heinous crime, we must respond with punishment. These four victims deserved a future, and Mr. Samra took that opportunity away from them and did so with no sense of remorse. This evening justice has been delivered to the loved ones of these victims, and it signals that Alabama does not tolerate murderous acts of any nature.

“After careful consideration of the horrendous nature of the crime, the jury’s decision and all factors surrounding the case, the state of Alabama carried out Mr. Samra’s sentence this evening. Although this can never recover the lives lost, I pray that their loved ones can finally find a sense of peace.”

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