crimesider

Martin Link Executed: Missouri Puts Murderer of 11-Year-Old Girl to Death

Martin Link (AP Photo, file)
Martin Link Executed: Missouri Puts Murderer of 11-Year-Old Girl to Death
Martin Link (AP Photo, file)

(CBS/AP) Martin Link has been put to death for kidnapping, raping and killing an 11-year-old St. Louis girl in 1991.

Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Cline says the 47-year-old Missouri man died by injection after midnight Wednesday at the state prison in Bonne Terre. It was the first execution in Missouri since May 2009 and just the second since 2006.

Link was convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing 11-year-old Elissa Self-Braun.

Earlier Thursday evening the U.S. Supreme Court declined to stop the execution.

The attorney for Link filed a last-minute appeal in an effort to spare his life.

Earlier Tuesday the Missouri Supreme Court denied one appeal that questioned the legality of Missouri's execution protocol.

Link's attorney, Jennifer Herndon, argued the state does not use medical personnel to administer sodium thiopental, the anesthesia that renders the inmate unconscious before the next two drugs kill him. The appeal claimed the inmate could suffer tremendous pain if the anesthetic was not properly administered.

The appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court argued that Gov. Jay Nixon should not decide on clemency because he was attorney general - the state's top law official - when Link was convicted.

Elissa Self-Braun disappeared on Jan. 11, 1991, while walking to her school bus stop. Her body was found four days later along the St. Francis River, 135 miles south of St. Louis. DNA evidence connected Link to the crime.