On Dec. 1, for the first time since 2011 according to information available on the South Carolina Department of Corrections website, the state will put someone to death, the Associated Press reports.
Bobby Wayne Stone, age 52, will be executed for the 1996 murder of Sumter County sheriff's Sgt. Charlie Kubala, the AP reports, also saying that Stone confessed to shooting Kubala, but claimed it was an accident.
He was convicted of murder, first degree burglary and a firearms provision and sentenced to death in 1997, according to Department of Corrections documents. He has been awaiting execution ever since.
The murder occurred, according South Carolina Supreme Court documents, when a woman heard gunshots from her back yard and called her neighbor, who came over and called police. Stone had been drinking and wandering the woods around the woman’s home firing two newly purchased firearms, and had already approached her home once before, leaving when asked, but after police had already been called.
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Kubala was the officer that responded to that first call according to court documents, and returned when the second call was placed. When he arrived, Stone was on the side porch of the woman’s home, banging on her door while holding a pistol. Kubala went around the side of the home, and from inside the woman and her neighbor heard someone yell “halt” or “hold it.”
They then immediately heard three or four gunshots, according to court documents.
Kubala was shot twice, court documents reveal. Once in the neck and once in the ear. He died at the scene.
Stone was sentenced to death in 1997 according to The Sumter Item. That sentence was overturned in 2002. Then that reversal was itself reversed in 2005.
South Carolina uses lethal injection to perform executions, The Sumter Item reports, using a blend of three drugs in the process, whereas some states have switched to using just one. Those facing the death penalty can also opt to die by electrocution, The Item notes.
The most executions performed by the state in any 10 year period was 68, which happened between 1931 and 1940. The most performed in the last 20 years was in 1998, when seven people were put to death, according to the Department of Corrections.
Stone’s most recent request for appeal was denied by the state’s Supreme Court on March 29, 2017, according to court documents.