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Donald Moeller Timeline

October 29, 2012, 6:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Donald Moeller Timeline

Donald Moeller's execution has been 22 years in the making. In May 1990, 9-year-old Becky O'Connell was reported missing.   Police released a photo to the media, asking for help in finding her.

She had been last seen at Omar's Market where she had gone to buy some candy.

The next morning, Becky's mutilated body was found in a wooded area near Lake Alvin. Her killer had raped and stabbed her numerous times, even slashing her throat.

While investigators scoured the area looking for evidence, hundreds of tips started coming to the police department.  Some couldn't be substantiated, but one phone call caught the attention of one of the lead investigators that needed to be checked out as a possible suspect.

"They say the man has a lengthy criminal history and in recent years his actions have become increasingly violent against women and children," KELO's Jessica Armstrong reported at the time.

The suspect was Donald Moeller. 

"We want to question him.  That doesn't necessarily mean he's a suspect, but it certainly wouldn't rule it out," Lincoln County State's Attorney Jeff Masten said of Moeller.

Moeller had skipped town, fleeing to Tacoma, Washington.  Eight months later, police in that city recognized Moeller from a picture that had been released to law enforcement across the country.   He was arrested and brought back to South Dakota to face murder charges.

"Today 39-year-old Donald Moeller was officially charged with the crime," Jay Trobec reported.

After a long trial, Moeller was convicted in 1992 and sentenced to die.

But the State Supreme Court reversed the decision, ruling improper testimony was used during the trial.

Then in 1997 Moeller was again tried, convicted and sentenced to die. 

Moeller again appealed his case, but lost. 

After finally exhausting all of his appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, Moeller confessed to the killing of 9-year-old Becky O'Connell and said, "I killed the little girl and it is just that the punishment be concluded."

Moeller's execution is scheduled for 10 o'clock Tuesday night.

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