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Archive for Thursday, December 15, 2005

Convicted hitman, 77, executed for ‘85 murder

December 15, 2005

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— A 77-year-old convicted hitman was executed Wednesday in Parchman, becoming the oldest person in the nation put to death since capital punishment was reinstated nearly three decades ago.

John B. Nixon Sr. still claimed innocence as he was strapped to the death chamber gurney, and blamed one of his sons for the 1985 murder of a Mississippi woman.

"I did not kill Virginia Tucker," Nixon said before he was given the lethal injection. "I know within my heart, and it hurts to acknowledge, that it was a son of mine and a Spanish friend and another man from Jackson."

Nixon, a former car mechanic, did not say which son he blamed.

Two of Nixon's sons - John B. Nixon Jr. and Henry Leon Nixon - along with Gilbert Jimenez were convicted in the killing but were given lesser sentences. Corrections officials said the sons, now out of prison, had not been in contact with their father.

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