A Mississippi man convicted of brutally murdering a convenience store clerk in
1995 is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection on Thursday, the 2nd
execution in the state this week.
William "Jerry" J. Mitchell, 61, sexually assaulted and mutilated Patty
Milliken after she disappeared from her job in Biloxi toward the end of her
shift in November 1995, jurors found.
At the time, Mitchell had been released on parole for less than a year for a
murder conviction 2 decades earlier.
Mitchell's execution is set for 6 p.m. local time at the Mississippi State
Penitentiary at Parchman. If carried out, it will be the third execution this
year in Mississippi and the eleventh in the nation.
According to records, Mitchell visited Milliken at work 3 times on the day she
disappeared. A co-worker who last saw Milliken go outside to smoke a cigarette
with Mitchell called police when she didn't return.
Police found Mitchell's phone number in Milliken's purse and went to his home.
Mitchell fled but was arrested after a car chase.
Milliken's body was found under a bridge. She had been beaten, strangled,
sexually assaulted, crushed by a car and mutilated, court records show.
Testimony during the trial indicated that she was still alive when the car ran
over her. Tire tracks at the crime scene matched three of the four tires on
Mitchell's car, and police also found blood and hair on and under his car.
On Tuesday, Larry Matthew "Matt" Puckett was executed in Mississippi for a 1995
murder and sexual assault of his former employer's wife.