Missouri Executes Death Row Inmate

BONNE TERRE, MO (via KOLR10) -- A convicted inmate has been executed for the 1989 murder of a St. Louis County teenager.

The Missouri Department of Public Safety reports Jeffrey Ferguson, 59, died Wednesday by a lethal injection of pentobarbital at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre. The execution was carried out at 12:01 a.m. He was pronounced dead ten minutes later.

Ferguson and another man, Kenneth Ousley, abducted 17-year-old Kelli Hall from the St. Charles gas station she was working at on February 9, 1989. Her body was found three weeks later on a nearby farm. DNA evidence found on Hall’s coat was matched to Ferguson.

Ferguson and Ousley were charged with first degree murder but Ousley pleaded guilty and received a life sentence.

Missouri’s Attorney General has issued a statement following the execution early this morning of Jeffrey Ferguson at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre.

In the statement, Chris Koster says, “More than two decades have passed since Jeffrey Ferguson kidnapped, raped, and murdered seventeen-year-old Kelli Hall. While this sentence cannot bring Kelli back, her parents have waited a quarter-century for justice for their daughter. My thoughts and prayers tonight are with Kelli Hall’s family and friends, in the hope that they can now have a degree of closure and finality on this awful crime.”

In his final statement, convicted rapist and killer Jeffrey Ferguson wrote that he prays “for the victim’s family to have peace in their hearts one day and lose the anger, hate and need for revenge that has driven them” and that they find “forgiveness, compassion and love in their hearts instead.”

Kelli Hall’s father, Jim Hall, told reporters after the execution that what Ferguson felt in dying wasn’t one iota compared to the fear and pain his daughter felt when her life was taken from her at age 17.

Jim Hall was joined by his former wife and Kelli’s mother, Susan King, two brothers, Stephen (and Melissa) Hall and Michael Venegoni, Jr., and a cousin, Chris Parmeter, in saying that today was “special day for Kelli’s family.”

“It’s been a very long 25 years waiting for this execution, way too long,” Jim said. “My family and I have been devastated for years over this. His family was devastated by this. This basically tore two families apart. That should have never been. It’s been so long, it tested our ability to move forward.”

(Mike Lear, Missourinet, contributed to this report)

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