Sex Crimes

Supreme Court mulls last-minute appeals of man convicted in Missouri student's 1995 killing

FILE - This April 4, 2007 file photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections shows Michael Worthington who is scheduled to die for killing a female neighbor in 1995. His execution would be the first since Joseph Rudolph Wood gasped for air in July, 2014, in Arizona during a lethal injection process that took nearly two hours to complete. (AP Photo/Missouri Department of Corrections, File)

FILE - This April 4, 2007 file photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections shows Michael Worthington who is scheduled to die for killing a female neighbor in 1995. His execution would be the first since Joseph Rudolph Wood gasped for air in July, 2014, in Arizona during a lethal injection process that took nearly two hours to complete. (AP Photo/Missouri Department of Corrections, File)  (The Associated Press)

The U.S. Supreme Court is weighing whether to intervene in the scheduled Missouri execution of an Illinois man condemned to death in the 1995 killing of a suburban St. Louis college student.

If carried out as scheduled at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, 43-year-old Michael Worthington's execution will be the first in the nation since a lethal injection went awry last month in Arizona.

Worthington was sentenced to death in 1998, after he pleaded guilty to raping and strangling Melinda "Mindy" Griffin.

Worthington, from Peoria, Illinois, confessed that he broke into Griffin's St. Charles County apartment. He said he choked her into unconsciousness and raped her. When she regained consciousness, he strangled her.

Worthington's appeals question the secrecy involving the execution drugs, as well as flawed executions recently in three other states.