Teresa Lewis died by injection Thursday night for the murders of her husband and stepson, the first execution of a woman in Virginia since 1912 and the first in the country in five years. In her final words, Lewis, 41, said, “I just want Kathy to know I love you and I’m very sorry.” The murders left Lewis’ stepdaughter, Kathy Clifton, the only surviving member of her family.
Lewis appeared serious and fearful as she was led to the execution chamber. Outside the prison, about a dozen people stood in protest. They were outnumbered by about three dozen members of the media, including reporters from Great Britain and Italy. The execution was just the 12th of a woman – compared with more than 1,200 for men – since the death penalty resumed in 1977. The rare event drew attention, and criticism, from across the nation and abroad. Lewis was sentenced to death in 2003 for the Oct. 30, 2002, murder-for-hire slayings of her husband and stepson. Using sex and promises of money, she persuaded two men to kill for her in an effort to gain $250,000 in life insurance.