Killer of Miss. woman executed in Okla.

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) - A career criminal who was convicted of raping and killing a young mother from Mississippi more than 20 years ago was put to death in today (Tuesday) in McAlester, Oklahoma.

Frank Duane Welch was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m. after receiving a lethal mixture of drugs at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

Welch was executed for the death of Jo Talley Cooper, whose murder went unsolved for nearly a decade.

Welch was serving time in prison for a kidnapping charge in 1997 when he was linked by DNA to the killings of Cooper and Grady County resident Debra Stevens.

Cooper, a Mississippi native who earned a master's degree in communication at the University of Oklahoma, was three months pregnant at the time of her death.

She was tied up, raped and strangled while her infant son slept in the next room.