Mississippi Executes Man for 1986 Rape-Murder

PARCHMAN, Miss.  -- Paul Everette Woodward was put to death by lethal injection Wednesday for the 1986 rape and murder of a 24-year-old Escatawpa woman.

The execution was carried out shortly after 6:30 p.m. CDT at the state penitentiary in Parchman.
It is one of two executions set in as many days. Gerald James Holland is scheduled to be executed Thursday at 6 p.m.

Woodward, 62, was convicted of capital murder in 1987 in the death of Rhonda Crane, a Jackson County Youth Court volunteer.

Crane was driving in July 1986 to join her parents for a family camping trip when Woodward used his log truck to force her to stop on Mississippi Highway 29 south of New Augusta, prosecutors said.

A jury found Woodward guilty of kidnapping and raping Crane, then shooting her to death.