The Latest: Executed inmate: 'I forgive' parents of victim

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The Latest on South Dakota’s execution of Charles Russell Rhines in the 1992 slaying of his former co-worker (all times local):

8:43 p.m.

A convicted killer executed in South Dakota used his last words to speak to the parents of his victim.

Charles Rhines was executed Monday evening at the state prison in Sioux Falls for the 1992 slaying of 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer.

Media witnesses said Rhines used his last words to tell Ed and Peggy Schaeffer that “I forgive you for your anger and hatred towards me.”

The Schaeffers said they wanted to talk about their son, not Rhines. They say they were “so blessed to have this young man in our family and in our life.”

Rhines ambushed Schaeffer when Schaeffer interrupted him as he was burglarizing the doughnut shop where Schaeffer worked. Rhines had been fired a few weeks earlier.

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8:27 p.m.

South Dakota’s attorney general is using the execution of a death row inmate to remember his victim.

Charles Rhines was executed by lethal injection Monday evening, nearly three decades after he stabbed a young doughnut shop worker to death.

Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg says that worker, Donnivan Schaeffer, was “funny, kind and a hard worker” with a bright future awaiting him after he was to finish Western Dakota Tech. He says Schaeffer loved hunting and fishing and was engaged to be married.

Shawn Nolan, an attorney for Rhines, called it “very sad and profoundly unjust” that Rhines was executed without a court hearing evidence of what he called gay bias influencing the jury’s death sentence.

An investigator in the case said the jury reacted to Rhines’ chilling confession, not his sexuality. The U.S. Supreme Court twice declined to consider that argument.

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8:16 p.m.

A man who fatally stabbed a former co-worker who interrupted him during a 1992 burglary has been executed in South Dakota.

Sixty-three-year-old Charles Russell Rhines died by lethal injection Monday night at the state prison in Sioux Falls. Rhines killed 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer at a Rapid City doughnut shop.

Schaeffer was delivering supplies to Dig ‘Em Donuts when Rhines ambushed him, stabbing him in the stomach. Bleeding from his wound, Schaeffer begged to be taken to a hospital, but instead he was forced into a storeroom, tied up and stabbed to death.

Rhines had tried to delay his execution, pushing three appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court in the last week. South Dakota officials delayed his execution by several hours while they waited to hear from the nation’s high court. All three appeals were denied on Monday evening.

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6:40 p.m.

The execution of a South Dakota man will proceed Monday night after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected three appeals to delay his execution.

Charles Russell Rhines was supposed to be executed at 1:30 p.m. on Monday for 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.

The Department of Corrections said they would begin moving forward with the execution at the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls.

Rhines had 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. And he argued he hasn’t been given access to experts to be examined for cognitive and psychiatric impairments.

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2:15 p.m.

Protesters gathered in snow flurries outside the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls to speak against the execution of a man who killed a former co-worker.

About 30 people prayed and sang hymns in the hour leading up to the scheduled execution of Charles Russell Rhines. It was set for 1:30 p.m. Monday, but the state said it wouldn’t carry out the punishment until the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled on three appeals from Rhines.

Denny Davis, the director of South Dakotans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, says he spoke with Rhines this week. He says Rhines is nervous but has “fought as long as he can.”

Rhines killed 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer when Schaeffer interrupted him in the midst of a burglary.

The protesters say they accept that Rhines’ execution will be carried out. They say they want to shift the culture away from the death penalty.

Rhines would be the fifth person executed by South Dakota since it reinstated the death penalty in 1979.

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12:20 p.m.

South Dakota officials say the scheduled execution of a man who killed a co-worker at a doughnut shop may be delayed as they 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.

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9:50 a.m.

The South Dakota Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a man 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.

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5:48 a.m.

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.

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