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Ruling Clears Way for Moeller Execution

Lethal Injection (FILE)
Handout/Getty Images

A federal judge in Sioux Falls has cleared the way for Donald Moeller to be executed by lethal injection later this month or early next month at the South Dakota State Penitentiary. Moeller was sentenced to death for the kidnapping, rape and murder of nine-year-old Becky O’Connell of Sioux Falls.

I may be one of the few journalists in Sioux Falls who was working then and is still working today. I remember the notice we got from Sioux Falls Police Department that a little girl was missing. We found out that she had been abducted from a store on North Main Avenue, a store that is still there today.

I could probably even tell you the name of the detective I talked to, and even as I wrote the story that day I had a gut feeling that the end was not going to be good.

And it wasn’t.

Becky O’Connell’s body was found in Lincoln County, and eventually Donald Moeller was arrested and charged.

The case has a long legal history that I’m not going to get into. But sometime between October 28 and November 3, justice will be served for Becky O’Connell, 22 years after she was kidnapped, raped and killed.

One last thought: Becky O’Connell, forever 9-years old, would be 31 today.

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