Mississippi seeks execution date in 2000 killing of teenager

In this May 25, 2022, photo released by the Mississippi Department of Corrections is Thomas...
In this May 25, 2022, photo released by the Mississippi Department of Corrections is Thomas Edwin Loden Jr. The Mississippi attorney general's office is asking the state to set an execution date for Loden, now 58. The former U.S. Marine Corps recruiter was convicted in the 2000 rape and killing of a 16-year-old waitress, and has been on death row since 2001, when he pleaded guilty to capital murder, rape and four counts of sexual battery.(Mississippi Department of Corrections via AP)
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 6:05 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2022 at 6:09 PM EDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi attorney general’s office is asking the state to set an execution date for a former U.S. Marine Corps recruiter who was convicted in the 2000 rape and killing of a 16-year-old waitress.

Thomas Edwin Loden Jr. is now 58. He has been on death row since 2001, when he pleaded guilty to capital murder, rape and four counts of sexual battery of Leesa Marie Gray.

She disappeared on her way home from working in her family’s restaurant in northern Mississippi’s Itawamba County. Her body was found the next day in Loden’s van.

Mississippi had its most recent execution in November. That was the first in nine years.