Stay of execution sought for Skillicorn

ST. LOUIS | The attorney for Dennis Skillicorn is seeking a stay of execution for the man convicted of killing an Excelsior Springs businessman 15 years ago.

The Missouri Supreme Court on Monday set a May 20 execution date for Skillicorn.

Attorney Jennifer Merrigan has asked a federal judge to prohibit Gov. Jay Nixon from making a clemency decision, instead deferring to a board of inquiry. In a stay request, she asked the state Supreme Court to postpone scheduling the execution until the federal matter is resolved.

Merrigan says the request is based on Nixon’s involvement, as attorney general, in blocking her access to Department of Corrections staff witnesses in the earlier clemency attempt.

A spokesman for Nixon did not immediately comment.

Skillicorn and co-defendant Allen Nicklasson were sentenced to death for killing Richard Drummond in Lafayette County. Drummond had stopped to help the men after their car broke down. A Blue Springs teenager who was traveling with the men received a lesser sentence.