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Elijah Page Execution Set

August 27, 2006, 7:03 PM by Lou Raguse

Elijah Page Execution Set
In 48 hours, South Dakota will execute its first prisoner in nearly six decades. The Department of Corrections announced Elijah Page will die Tuesday night at 10 at the prison in Sioux Falls.

Page will die for his role in torturing and killing 19-year-old Chester Allan Poage of Spearfish in March 2000. He's given up on his appeals and wants the death penalty. Until now, we only knew that the execution is happening sometime this week. The exact time was kept secret, because the Warden does not have to make the public announcement until two days before it happens.

In two days, 24-year-old Elijah Page will die by lethal injection.

It's the first execution in South Dakota since 1947 when George Sitts died in the electric chair. Since no one has been given the lethal injection since the state switched to that in 1984, Warden Doug Weber and some of his staff went to Texas to learn from prison staff there how to prepare. Texas has had nearly 400 executions in the last 30 years. After returning, the prison staff has run through rehearsals of the execution.

Tomorrow, Page will meet with Pam Guettler, the woman shown here on the left side of the screen holding the baby. Page dated Guettler's daughter Misty in the months leading up to the murder, and Guettler says they've been the only family in contact with Page. Page is meeting with them rather than his own mother.

Guettler says Page's sister Desiree and mother Michelle will both be present for the execution. She says Page's father Kenneth Chapman will also be there.

Now the only way Elijah Page will live past 10 pm Tuesday is if he changes his mind and decides to appeal.

Tuesday night we'll have live coverage before and after Page's execution. That includes a live media briefing where we'll hear from Dottie Poage, the mother of victim Chester Allen Poage, who is in favor of the death penalty and will watch Page die.

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