An Arkansas man convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering Lisa Rene, a 16-year-old teenager, back in 1994 was killed via lethal injection late Thursday evening after the Supreme Court refused to delay his scheduled execution.
Orlando Cordia Hall, 49, was one of the three inmates on federal death row who currently have a 2020 execution date set. Hall was pronounced dead at the U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana, just before midnight, according to prison officials.
An honor student, Rene was alone when Hall and his co-conspirators showed up at her home in search of her older brother, who they believed had stolen from them in a failed drug exchange. In a subsequent 911 call, Rene pleaded for police to “hurry” to her because people were “trying to break down my door,” the Associated Press reported in 1994. The teenager’s pleas for help were reportedly followed by a muffled scream, and an unknown man was heard asking “who you on the phone with” before the call abruptly ended.
According to the Department of Justice, Rene was then kidnapped at gunpoint and raped repeatedly. After Hall decided she knew “too much,” the group took Rene to a park and beat her with a shovel after she tried to escape.
Then, two days after she had been kidnapped, she was doused with gasoline, shoved into a grave, and buried alive. According to NBC News, investigators found her body eight days later and determined she died of asphyxiation.
“My family and I are very relieved that this is over. We have been dealing with this for 26 years and now we’re having to relive the tragic nightmare that our beloved Lisa went through,” Rene’s older sister, Pearl Rene, said in a statement released after the execution.
“Ending this painful process will be a major goal for our family. This is only the end of the legal aftermath. The execution of Orlando Hall will never stop the suffering we continue to endure,” she said.
Four other men were charged in the case, including three who received lesser sentences for cooperating with prosecutors, reports NBC News. A fourth man, Bruce Webster, had his death sentence vacated in 2019 after a judge found him to be intellectually disabled.
The AP reports: “An IQ score of about 70 is considered a benchmark for intellectual disability. In the past 26 years, Webster has had IQ scores as low as 51 and 53.”
Earlier this week, a federal judge delayed the execution of Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row, after her attorneys contracted coronavirus severely enough that it affected their ability to file legal paperwork in the case, including an attempt to seek clemency.
Back in the mid-2000s, Montgomery was convicted of murdering Bobbie Jo Stinnett, a 23-year-old pregnant woman, and trying to pass off her unborn child as her own.
Montgomery’s execution now cannot take place before December 31, 2020.
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