Nearly 19 years to the day that Susan Brouk and her two children were taken to a pond and killed in Missouri, Mark Christeson, one of the men responsible for the crime, was put to death yesterday, the Associated Press reports. It was Missouri’s first execution since May. Christeson, 37, was hours away from execution in 2014 when the U.S. Supreme Court granted a temporary stay. This time, the court allowed the execution to proceed, and Gov. Eric Greitens declined a clemency request for Christeson, the first inmate to be put to death since the Republican took office.
“It was a heinous crime. I’m just happy to see justice finally served,” said Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman, who witnessed the execution. “I have regrets for the family that it took so long, but I hope it provides closure to them.” The killings of Brouk, her 12-year-old daughter, Adrian, and 9-year-old son, Kyle, traumatized the rural area around the south-central Missouri town of Vichy. Missouri executed 16 men from 2014 to 2015, second only to the 23 executions in Texas. Last year, Missouri had just one execution, largely because most of the 25 men on death row have appeals remaining or are unlikely to be executed because of medical or mental health concerns.