A convicted murderer had a strange last meal before he was put to death last night.
Matthew Reeves, 43, was sentenced to death for the 1996 killing of Willie Johnson in Dallas County, Alabama.
Reeves, who was 18 at the time, was out with a group of people when their car broke down and ‘good Samaritan’ Johnson pulled over to offer to tow their car, tragically he was fatally shot in the neck. Reeves also stole $360 off Johnson.
According to witnesses, Reeves later went to a party where he danced and mimicked Johnson’s death convulsions while he still had blood on his hands.
Reeves was found guilty after a trial and sentenced to the death penalty. Yesterday he turned down the offer of a final meal choosing to have just a bottle of Sprite
Reeves’s lawyers say he was intellectually disabled, with one expert saying he had the language competency of a four-year-old and read at a first grade level.
Following his conviction, his lawyers claimed his intellectual ability had cost him his chance to choose a less ‘torturous’ method of execution and took the matter to the Supreme Court. Advert10
In 2018 Alabama death row inmates had a chance to sign a form choosing either lethal injection or nitrogen hypoxia as an execution method after legislators approved the use of nitrogen.
Reeves did not fill out the form stating a preference, meaning he was scheduled for execution via lethal injection instead of the newer method.
Reeves attempted to sue under the American With Disabilities Act, claiming he had intellectual disabilities that prevented him from understanding the form offering him the chance to choose nitrogen hypoxia – a method never used in the US – over lethal injection, which the inmate’s lawyers called ‘torturous’.
John Palombi, a lawyer for Matthew Reeves said in a statement: “The immense authority of the Supreme Court should be used to protect its citizens, not to strip them of their rights without explanation.”
But the court ruled that the execution should go ahead and he was killed by lethal injection last night, with officials giving his time of death as 9.24pm.
Prior to his execution he requested no final meal and had no last words.
Some of Johnson’s family witnessed the execution. In a statement, they said: “After 26 years justice [has] finally been served. Our family can now have some closure.”