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Alabama executes man for 1986 double murder

By Peggy Gargis

BIRMINGHAM, Ala (Reuters) - A man who kidnapped, robbed and killed an eastern Alabama couple in 1986 was executed by lethal injection on Thursday.

William Glenn Boyd, 45, was pronounced dead at 6:23 p.m. local time at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama, just hours after his last-minute request for a delay was denied.

Boyd was the second condemned inmate put to death in Alabama this year and the first under new Republican Governor Robert Bentley's watch.

Authorities said Boyd and another man broke into Fred and Evelyn Blackmon's home in Anniston, Alabama, on March 26, 1986. They demanded ransom for Evelyn Blackmon's daughter, whom Boyd had dated and claimed to have abducted.

After forcing Fred Blackmon to cash a $5,000 check, the men bound and gagged the couple and drove them into the woods, where they were beaten and shot to death.

Police later found Evelyn Blackmon's body in a metal drum that had been dumped into the Coosa River and Fred Blackmon's body in the trunk of his car, also submerged in the river.

The jury in Boyd's case recommended a sentence of life in prison without parole. But citing the heinous nature of the crime, the trial judge overrode the jury and ordered the death penalty.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal from Boyd's attorneys, who argued that the execution should be halted because the trial judge acted improperly.

Though judges in Alabama have the authority to override a jury's recommendation, Boyd's attorneys said the judge in this case did not give the jury's recommendation or the neglect and abuse in Boyd's childhood sufficient consideration.

Boyd's last meal consisted of chicken, french fries, applesauce, a tomato and an orange drink, according to Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett.

Boyd also had a meatball sandwich, a Philly cheese steak sandwich, a V8 Splash drink and coffee from the vending machine, Corbett said.

Two pastors and one of Boyd's attorneys attended the execution on his behalf, Corbett said.

Asked if he had any last words, Boyd said "no."

Boyd was the 11th inmate executed in the United State so far this year. There were 46 executions in 2010.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)

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