Tennessee executes man convicted of 1991 murder of ex-girlfriend

Reuters | Dec 6, 2019 at 2:16 AM

Dec 5 (Reuters) - A Tennessee man found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend by setting her on fire in her car almost 30 years ago was put to death in the electric chair in Nashville on Thursday, prison officials said.

Lee Hall, 54, was pronounced dead at 7:26 p.m. CST at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution, Tylee Tracer of the Tennessee Department of Correction said in a written statement.

Hall was sentenced to death in 1992 for the murder of 22-year-old Traci Crozier.

On Wednesday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said he would not intervene in the case, a day after Hall was placed on death watch and moved to a cell next to the execution chamber.

Hall had filed several unsuccessful legal challenges in state and federal courts since his conviction for first-degree premeditated murder and aggravated arson in 1992.

Tennessee's Supreme Court this week denied his latest request to delay his execution as his claim that one of the jurors was biased because she was a victim of domestic violence was considered.

On Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down his bid for an 11th-hour stay.

Hall chose execution by electric chair over lethal injection, marking the fourth condemned U.S. inmate to die that way since 2018. Tennessee reinstated use of the electric chair in 2014, to be used if chosen by the inmate or if lethal injection drugs were not available.

According to court documents, Hall doused Crozier with gasoline and set her on fire inside her Nissan Pulsar on the night of April 16, 1991, following an argument outside her grandmother's home.

A neighbor saw "a ball of fire" in the middle of the street and called for emergency assistance as her son helped pull Crozier out of the torched car. The neighbor said Crozier remained alert, telling her that Hall set the fire and saying: "It was gas, gas bomb. He set me on fire."

When fire and rescue workers arrived at the scene, they found Crozier with 95% of her body burned and rushed her to a hospital where she died hours later.

When Hall was questioned by police, he said he only intended to burn Crozier's car, like he did once before, court papers said.

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  • Tennessee executes man convicted of 1991 murder of ex-girlfriend (Reuters: Dec 6, 2019 at 2:15 AM)