Homicide

Execution date of Feb. 26 is set for man sentenced in killing of Ann Harrison

Updated: 2014-01-25T05:09:45Z

By TONY RIZZO

The Kansas City Star

The Missouri Supreme Court on Friday set a Feb. 26 execution date for one of two men convicted in the 1989 murder of a Kansas City teenager.

Michael A. Taylor was sentenced to death for the killing of 15-year-old Ann Harrison, who was waiting for a school bus in front of her southeast Kansas City home when she was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and stabbed to death.

Taylor, now 46, had come within hours of being put to death in 2006 before the execution was stayed. A co-defendant, Roderick Nunley, now 48, also remains imprisoned on a death sentence.

Both pleaded guilty, but each implicated the other as the primary assailant. They were sentenced to death by a Jackson County judge.

Taylor is one of about 20 Missouri death row inmates involved in a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s lethal injection procedures.

“This is exceptionally premature in light of the status of the lethal injection litigation,” his attorney, John Simon, said of Friday’s order.

Missouri did not carry out any executions between February 2011 and November. Since then, the state has executed two inmates after adopting a new execution protocol using the drug pentobarbital. A third man, Herbert Smulls, is scheduled for execution early Wednesday.

To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to trizzo@kcstar.com.

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