Thursday, the state of Alabama executed Michael Wayne Eggers for the 2000 murder of Bennie Francis Murray.
After being notified that Mr. Eggers’ sentence had been carried out, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey commented on the execution.
“Mr. Eggers was convicted of brutally beating and then murdering Mrs. Francis Murray, who was simply trying to help him,” Ivey said. “The facts are clear, and Mr. Eggers admits, that he went to great lengths to ensure Mrs. Murray’s death and then to hide the evidence of his crime. His case has been reviewed at every level of the judiciary and has consistently been upheld, including Mr. Eggers’ own personal request to have his sentence carried out. After having considered Mr. Eggers’ wanton crime and all the factors surrounding his case, I determined it was best to allow the laws of this state to be followed and for the execution to be completed.”
Murray and her husband had hired Eggers to work at a traveling carnival concession business. Eggers asked Murray to drive him to pick up a vehicle. She agreed and after driving for many miles in Walker County, she refused.
There was an argument and Eggers beat her unconscious. To make sure that she was dead, he then strangled Murray. Eggers took Murray’s vehicle to a car wash to clean it up and then it was found in Kentucky. Police used cell phone tracking to hunt down Eggers in Florida.
Eggers, 50, dropped his appeals and asked to be put to death for the 2000 slaying.
Even though he dropped his appeals, his former attorney wrote that Eggers is severely mentally ill. The U.S. Supreme Court denied the stay request on Thursday.
“Michael Eggers showed no mercy towards his victim, his former employer, Bennie Francis Murray, who donated much of her personal time to helping him find a new job,” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement. “On the night of her murder, Mrs. Murray gave Eggers a lift to pick up his car. Instead of showing her gratitude, Eggers rewarded her kindness by brutally beating and strangling her. He even returned to the scene of the crime to make sure she was dead. After 18 years of waiting, justice has finally been served tonight for the Murray family.”
The execution by lethal injection was carried out at Hollman prison.
Eggers gave a thumbs-up sign before his death.
(Original reporting by the Associated Press contributed to this report.)