Mississippi executes Woodward for '86 rape-slaying

Associated Press - May 19, 2010 7:54 PM ET

PARCHMAN, Miss. (AP) - Paul Everette Woodward was put to death by lethal injection Wednesday for the 1986 rape and murder of a 24-year-old Escatawpa woman.

The 62-year-old Woodward's execution was carried out shortly after 6 p.m. CDT at the state penitentiary in Parchman. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Tara Booth says Woodward expired at 6:39 p.m.

It is 1 of 2 executions set in as many days. Gerald James Holland is scheduled to be executed Thursday at 6 p.m.

Woodward was convicted of capital murder in 1987 in the death of Rhonda Crane, a Jackson County Youth Court volunteer.

Prosecutors have said Crane was driving in July 1986 to join her parents for a family camping trip when Woodward used his log truck to force her to stop on Mississippi Highway 29 south of New Augusta. A jury found Woodward guilty of kidnapping and raping Crane, then shooting her to death.

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