Alabama Death Row Inmate Aaron Jones Executed

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ATMORE, Ala. (AP) - Aaron Lee Jones was executed Thursday by lethal injection for the gruesome 1978 slaying of a Blount County couple, a crime that made him one of the state's longest death row residents.

55-year-old Jones showed no emotion and had no final words, never looking toward the witnesses that included his victims' adult children. Jones kept his eyes fixed on the ceiling and lifted his head only once when the deadly drugs entered his body.

Prison chaplain Chris Summers knelt beside Jones, placed his hand on the inmate's left hand and prayed. Jones was pronounced dead at 6:29 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier in the day refused to block the execution.

The state Supreme Court yesterday refused his request to vacate the execution date. His appeal to the U-S Supreme Court was rejected Thursday afternoon.

Jones, of Birmingham, has filed many appeals over the last 27 years, the latest challenging lethal injection as a method of execution.

He was convicted of capital murder in the deaths of Willene and Carl Nelson, and sentenced to death -- first in 1979 and then in a retrial in 1982. The Nelsons, who lived in the Rosa community of Blount County, a farming area northeast of Birmingham, were attacked about three-30 a.m.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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