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US executes Army veteran for 2001 killing of nurse – 6th federal execution this year

United States Penitentiary, Terre Haute, Indiana. (U.S. Bureau of Prisons photo/Released)

A man who raped and killed a North Georgia nurse has become the sixth person executed this year by the U.S. government.

William LeCroy, 50, was pronounced dead Tuesday at 9:06 p.m., according to published reports. He was put to death by lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

On Oct. 7, 2001, Joann Lee Tiesler returned to her Gilmer County home in Cherry Log after shopping with her fiancé and came upon LeCroy. The former U.S. soldier raped the 30-year-old nurse, then killed her by strangling her with an electrical cord, slitting her throat and stabbing her. He drove off in her car and was arrested two days later in Minnesota.

Witnesses to the execution included Tiesler’s father and fiancè, a Justice Department spokeswoman said.

LeCroy kept his eyes open as someone in an adjacent room began administering the lethal injection of pentobarbital. His eyelids grew heavy while his midsection began to heave uncontrollably.

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After several more minutes, his face turned ashen and his lips tinted blue. After about 10 more minutes, an official with a stethoscope entered the chamber, felt LeCroy’s wrist for a pulse and then listened to his heart before declaring him dead.

“Today justice was finally served. William LeCroy died a peaceful death in stark contrast to the horror he imposed on my daughter Joann,” the victim’s father, Tom Tiesler, said in a statement.

Charged under the federal carjacking statute, LeCroy was convicted and sentenced to death during a 2004 trial in Gainesville.

In a clemency petition to President Donald Trump, LeCroy’s lawyers said that their client had developed a “delusional fixation” on Tiesler. “(He) broke into her home and killed her to break an evil spell he believed she cast on him,” the petition said.

In 2010, LeCroy’s brother, Georgia State Trooper Chad LeCroy, was killed in the line of duty. After fatally shooting the trooper, Gregory Favors took LeCroy’s patrol car, making him eligible for the same offense as William LeCroy.

But Fulton County prosecutors obtained a malice murder indictment against Favors and sought the death penalty. Favors was later allowed to plead guilty in exchange for life in prison without parole. That was the same sentence LeCroy had agreed to accept, but which federal prosecutors rejected.

“The pain and sorrow felt by the LeCroy family at potentially losing two of their sons is unimaginable,” the petition said. “It is all the more painful that the system worked so differently and unfairly in their eyes.”

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© 2020 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution