Haunting final words of man who killed his girlfriend and her three children before he died on death row
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Featured Image Credit: Missouri Department of Corrections / Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty / YouTube
A man who was convicted of murdering his partner and children has been executed.
Leonard 'Raheem' Taylor was sentenced to death for murdering his girlfriend, Angela Rowe, and her three children, Alexus Conley, 10; AcQreya Conley, six; and five-year-old son Tyrese Conley.
Police were called to the scene after family members raised concerns over Ms Rowe's welfare.
After going to her home in Missouri on 3 December, 2004, they found the four bodies of Ms Rowe and her children, all of whom had been shot.
Taylor has long maintained his innocence, claiming that he was in California when the killings happened.
During the murder trial, however, prosecutors said that it was likely the family were killed a week or two before they were found, when Taylor was still in the area.
Forensic analysis of Taylor's clothes also found Ms Rowe's blood on his glasses.
Despite his protestations, Taylor was executed yesterday (8 February) evening at Bonne Terre state prison in Missouri.
The 58-year-old was administered a lethal injection, and was noted as taking several deep breaths before dying.
Prior to his death, he was given the opportunity to say a few last words.
In a haunting statement, Taylor said that he did not fear death.
"Muslims don't die," he said. "We live eternally in the hearts of our family and friends. From Allah we came and to Allah we shall return.
"Everybody will get their turn to die. Death is not your enemy, it is your destiny. Look forward to meeting it. Peace!"
Prior to his death, Taylor had continued to state that he was innocent of any wrongdoing.
Speaking to the Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, he said: "No, I didn’t. No, I did not. Not only did I not commit the crime, but, one, like I said, there was no motive.
"You know, I had no reason to commit the crime. I wasn’t even in the state of Missouri when these murders took place."
And earlier this week, the Midwest Innocence Project filed for a stay of execution.
It said: "It is crucial for courts to intervene when a conviction and sentence are the result of 'scientific' evidence that has been discredited or proven to be false.
"As demonstrated in his Petition, Mr. Taylor’s wrongful conviction is based on the scientifically unsupportable and false testimony of the State’s medical examiner.
"The use of this false testimony incorrectly subverted Mr. Taylor’s alibi and violated Mr. Taylor’s constitutional rights, and should compel this Court to grant Mr. Taylor habeas corpus relief."
However, the request was denied by the Missouri Supreme Court.