25 years after rape and murder of teen, Justice is served
One night in 1989, Jeffrey Ferguson and an accomplice kidnapped 17 year old Kelli Hall from the St. Charles, Missouri Mobil Station where she worked. 13 days later her frozen corpse was found in a field. She was wearing only socks. She had been raped and strangled.
Ferguson was convicted by jury and sentenced to die–Early this morning the condemned met his maker.
Notwithstanding the murderer’s expressions of remorse, new-found devotion to God and, per his attorneys and advocates, being an all-around good person, The New Orleans Times Picayune noted:
“Ferguson, strapped to a hospital gurney, was animated in the moments before his midnight execution at the state prison in Bonne Terre. He made funny faces and mouthed words to relatives sitting in the observation room to ease the tension.
As the lethal drug was administered, he took a few deep breaths, then became still. The 59-year-old was pronounced dead at 12:11 a.m. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had offered a final statement.”
It seems to Paco, a truly remorseful, repentant individual would have been certain to issue a final statement of apology, remorse and faith–Mugging for the assembled family may have been well-intentioned but it must have been a final insult to the victim’s witnesses. Paco thinks a good man would have realized that and forgone funny faces.
In any case, he’s a changed man now.
It is said justice delayed is justice denied. Paco says, justice is better late than never.
Following is the case synopsis excerpted from Ferguson’s 2004 Appeal. (Credit: murderpedia.org)
Kelli Hall worked at a service station in Saint Charles, Missouri. Hall’s frozen, naked body was discovered on a nearby farm three weeks after a witness saw a man resembling Ferguson forcing her into a truck identical to Ferguson’s vehicle outside the service station on the night she disappeared. An autopsy revealed that Hall had been raped before she was strangled to death.
Ferguson and his friend, Kenneth Ousley, were seen with Ferguson’s truck across the street from the service station shortly before Hall was abducted. During the days following Hall’s disappearance, Ferguson and Ousley tried to sell three of her rings. Ferguson warned a potential purchaser that the rings were “very hot,” and he told another friend not to tell anyone he was in Saint Charles on the night of the abduction. He also asked a body shop to repaint his vehicle because the police were looking for it.
Laboratory tests showed that semen found inside Hall came from a person with Ferguson’s blood type, DNA found in a semen stain on Hall’s coat matched Ferguson’s, and fibers found on Hall’s clothing were “indistinguishable” from the carpeting in Ferguson’s truck. A blonde hair matching Hall’s was found on Ousley’s shoe, and a pubic hair indistinguishable from Ousley’s was found on Hall’s socks. Hall’s body was found partially obscured by steel partitions that could not have been moved by one man.
Ferguson and Ousley were charged with first degree murder. Ousley, who later pleaded guilty and received a life sentence, did not testify at Ferguson’s trial. Ferguson did testify. He admitted meeting Ousley at the time and place in question but said that he could not have raped and murdered Hall because he was drunk and “passed out” in his vehicle (contrary to his statement to police following his arrest). The jury convicted Ferguson of first degree murder and recommended the death penalty, which the trial court imposed.