Arkansas executes death row inmate Ledell Lee

Arkansas executed convicted murderer Ledell Lee, 51, on Thursday April 20, 2017. Leewas the state's first inmate put to death in more than a decade.

Arkansas executed convicted murderer Ledell Lee shortly after the US Supreme Court denied emergency motions in his case. Lee was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m.

The rulings by the nation’s highest court lifted all remaining stays of execution, and the Arkansas Department of Corrections can proceed with the execution as planned late Thursday local time.

Lee was convicted in 1995 in the murder of Debra Reese two years prior.

His execution will be Arkansas’ first since 2005. The state had planned to execute eight inmates over 10 days starting April 1, but four of the men have received stays for various reasons.

Lee requested Holy Communion as his last meal, prison officials said.

His victim, Reese, 26, was found dead in her home in Jacksonville, Arkansas, in February 1993.

She had been strangled and beaten with a small wooden bat her husband gave her for protection. Several of Reese’s neighbors saw Lee near the house and identified him to police.

Developing story – more to come