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Woman Set to Be Put to Death in Arkansas

May 02, 2000|From Associated Press

VARNER, Ark. — Prison officials Monday prepared for the first execution of a woman in the state in more than 150 years, a nurse who killed her two children and initially blamed her action on depression over the Oklahoma City bombing.

Christina Marie Riggs, who had obtained court permission to drop all appeals, was flown from the McPherson Unit, the state women's prison, to the Cummins Unit, where executions take place, Correction Department spokeswoman Dina Tyler said.

Riggs is scheduled to be put to death today.

Riggs, 28, was convicted of capital murder for killing 5-year-old Justin and 2-year-old Shelby Alexis in 1997. Justin was injected with potassium chloride and morphine and eventually smothered; his sister was smothered.

Riggs, a former Oklahoma City resident, initially said trauma she experienced working as a nurse after the April 1995 bombing there drove her into a deep depression.

The defense did not bring up the bombing during the trial itself.

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