South Dakota inmate executed for 1992 murder
South Dakota executed death row inmate Charles Rhines at 7:39 p.m. on Monday.
Rhines, 63, was killed by lethal injection for the 1992 slaying of 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer at a Rapid City doughnut shop.
The execution, originally scheduled to be carried out at 1:30 p.m. CDT, was delayed for hours while the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in a last-minute, eventually denying all three of Rhines' appeals.
State attorney general's office said it wouldn't carry out the execution before the Supreme Court heard Rhines' appeals.
Rhines argued that the state's choice of drug doesn't act quickly enough. He also argued that the jurors in his case gave him the death penalty because he is gay - an argument the high court previously rejected.
In a statement to the media after the execution, South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg said “Today I would like to remember Donnivan Schaeffer, the victim who was brutally murdered by the killer who met justice earlier.”
“Words cannot express the sorrow I feel for the fact that Donnivan was killed but I am glad we were finally able to get justice for him today. I am hopeful that this day is an opportunity for the family to move forward and now, that this phase is over, they can continue to heal,” Ravnsborg said.
Peggy Schaeffer, Donnivan's mother, spoke candidly about her son, saying he had a "contagious" laugh. She also added “He was a great person and will be truly missed.”
Jack Caudill with KEVN in Rapid City said Rhines was very calm. Caudill said some of Rhines' last words were "Ed and Peggy Schaeffer, I forgive you for your anger and hatred toward me. I pray to God he forgives you for your anger and hatred toward me."
Caudill said Rhines also thanked his legal team and said goodbye several times.
The U.S. Supreme Court has denied all three of Charles Rhines’ appeals, allowing his execution to proceed Monday night.
Rhines was scheduled to be executed on Monday at 1:30 p.m. or the slaying of 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer at a Rapid City doughnut shop.
But the state put that on hold while it waited to hear from the high court.
South Dakota Attorney General's Office said: "at this time there are no court orders to delay or stay the Rhines execution." The South Dakota Department of Corrections said they would begin moving forward with the execution at the state penitentiary.
Officials have yet to release a specific time for Rhines' execution.
Following the execution, the media briefing will be streamed live
The scheduled execution of a man who killed a co-worker at a doughnut shop has been delayed as South Dakota officials await action from the U.S. Supreme Court on three appeals.
Charles Russell Rhines was scheduled to die by lethal injection at 1:30 p.m. Monday for the 1992 slaying of 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer in Rapid City.
But the state attorney general's office said it won't carry out the execution before the Supreme Court is heard.
Rhines is arguing that the state's choice of drug doesn't act quickly enough. He's also arguing that the jurors in his case gave him the death penalty because he is gay - an argument the high court previously rejected. And he's arguing he hasn't been given access to experts to be examined for cognitive and psychiatric impairments.
The South Dakota Department of Corrections has canceled all evening visits at the South Dakota State Penitentiary and Jameson Annex in Sioux Falls for Nov. 4.
The South Dakota Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a state prison scheduled to die by lethal injection Monday in the slaying of a former co-worker.
Charles Russell Rhines argued that the state's choice of drug to be used in his lethal injection does not meet the requirement of being "ultra-short-acting" that was in effect at the time of his conviction.
A circuit judge last week rejected his argument, writing that the pentobarbital South Dakota will use works as fast or faster as other drugs cited by Rhines when used in lethal doses.
The state's high court agreed.
Rhines immediately appealed that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which already has an appeal by Rhines on other grounds.
A man who stabbed to death a former co-worker who interrupted him during a burglary is set to be executed in South Dakota barring a last-minute stay.
Charles Russell Rhines brushed off a plea for mercy from 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer in the 1992 slaying at a Rapid City doughnut shop.
Now 63, Rhines unsuccessfully challenged the execution drug the state plans to use in Monday's execution in Sioux Falls. He's appealing that ruling to the state Supreme Court.
Rhines has also asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block his execution. He argues that the jury that sentenced him to death had an anti-gay bias. He also argues that the state hasn't allowed him to be examined for cognitive and psychiatric impairments.
Rhines is set to be executed at 1:30 p.m. Monday at the South Dakota Penitentiary in Sioux Falls.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)