A former US soldier who said an obsession with witchcraft led him to slay a Georgia nurse in a bid to lift a spell he believed she put on him is the first of two more inmates the federal government is preparing to put to death this week.
William Emmett LeCroy, 50, on Tuesday would be the sixth federal inmate executed by lethal injection this year at the US prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Another is scheduled for Thursday of Christopher Vialva, who would be the first African-American on federal death row to be executed this year.
LeCroy broke into the Cherrylog, Georgia, mountain home of 30-year-old Joann Lee Tiesler on October 7, 2001, and waited for her to return from a shopping trip.
When she walked through the door, LeCroy struck her with a shotgun, bound and raped her.
He then slashed her throat and repeatedly stabbed her in the back.
LeCroy had known Tiesler because she lived near a relative's home and would often wave to her as he drove by.
He later told investigators he'd come to believe she might have been his old babysitter he called Tinkerbell, who LeCroy claimed sexually molested him as a child.
Two days after killing Tiesler, LeCroy was arrested driving Tiesler's truck after passing a US checkpoint in Minnesota heading to Canada.
Authorities found a note LeCroy wrote before his arrest in which he asked Tiesler for forgiveness, according to court filings.
"You were an angel and I killed you," it read.
"I am a vagabond and doomed to hell."