A man condemned for killing his daughter's 16-year-old boyfriend in rural south Alabama in 1987 was executed Thursday without admitting to his daughter what she called the damage he caused by the killing and abusing her for years.
Phillip Hallford was pronounced dead at 6:26 p.m. at Holman Prison and declined to say any final words. The 63-year-old Hallford spoke softly to the chaplain and guards for a few minutes as the injection was administered.
He was sentenced to die for forcing his then-15-year-old daughter to lure Eddie Shannon to an isolated area in Dale County, shooting the teen three times and throwing the body off a bridge. Trial testimony showed he was angry because they were dating.
His daughter, Melinda Hallford Powell, also says he sexually abused her and had never admitted it.
Powell was at her home in North Carolina and unable to attend the execution. She said she was "relieved" to hear that Hallford was dead.
"Now he's not going to hurt anybody else," she said.
Powell had said she hoped her father would admit to what he did to her and to Shannon before he died, but he didn't, only replying "no" when Warden Tony Patterson asked him if had anything to say.
Prison officials then began to administer the injection. Lying quietly strapped to a gurney, the bald, heavyset Hallford appeared calm. He closed his eyes, stopped moving and quietly slipped away.
Told that Hallford had nothing to say, Powell said, "I'm sorry to hear that."
Gov. Bob Riley refused to grant clemency and the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Hallford's final appeal just minutes before the injection.
Hallford was the 24th inmate executed since Riley became governor in 2003. That's the most during the administration of any Alabama governor since executions were resumed in the early 1980s after a court ordered moratorium.
Powell, who was pregnant at the time of the killing, is married with three children. She said she had been sexually abused by her father and had lived "a nightmare" for years.
After he killed Shannon, she said, her father made a necklace out of the casings from the bullets that were fired at Shannon and made her wear it.