May 18, 2009
Jefferson City, Mo. -- Attorney General Chris Koster and key staff will be available in two offices the evening of May 19 as expected legal proceedings continue in advance of the May 20 execution date set for Dennis Skillicorn.
Attorney General Koster and his Chief of Staff, Robert Kenney, will be working in the Attorney General's St. Louis office. Deputy Attorney General Joe Dandurand and Chief Counsel of the Public Safety Division, Page Bellamy, will be in the Attorney General's Jefferson City office.
The Attorney General and his staff will continue addressing legal issues as they arise in the days and hours leading up to the scheduled execution at 12:00 a.m. May 20. When Attorney General Koster confirms there are no remaining legal impediments to the execution he will inform the Governor, who then controls the final process.
Below is a chronology of crimes committed by Dennis Skillicorn:
1. On December 2, 1979, Skillicorn and two co-defendants murdered Wendell Howell during a home invasion near Levasy, Jackson County, Missouri. A jury convicted Skillicorn and he was sentenced to 35 years. The judgment was affirmed on appeal.
2. On August 24, 1994, Skillicorn, Allen Nicklasson and Tim DeGraffenreid shot and killed Richard Drummond near Higginsville, Lafayette County, Missouri, as part of a cross-state crime spree. Specifically:
• Skillicorn skipped parole and traveled east from Kansas City to get illegal drugs.
• Skillicorn burglarized the home of Merlin Smith, stealing guns and money.
• Skillicorn and the others forced Mr. Drummond to drive while they held a gun to his head.
• Skillicorn demanded Mr. Drummond's wallet before he was led into the woods and shot.
• Tim DeGraffenreid told the Prosecutor that Skillicorn told DeGraffenreid to tell Nicklasson to "empty the clip" in reference to Mr. Drummond.
• Skillicorn gave a sworn statement to the FBI recounting his involvement in Mr. Drummond's murder.
The Lafayette County Prosecutor sought the death penalty. The jury convicted him of first degree murder and he was sentenced to death March 3, 1996.
3. August 26-27, 1994 - Mrs. Charlene Babcock received a gun shot to her head in her home in Mohave County, Arizona. Mr. Joe Babcock received three gunshot wounds to the head, and his body was found near Mr. Drummond's white Intrepid, which was stuck in the sand. Skillicorn was convicted of these offenses in June 1996 and he received two consecutive "natural life" sentences from the Arizona courts.