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Home Crime A man who murdered his cousin and her husband while their daughter slept was put to death in Missouri, despite calls to spare his life

A man who murdered his cousin and her husband while their daughter slept was put to death in Missouri, despite calls to spare his life


A man who was convicted of murdering his cousin and her husband while their 4-year-old daughter slept in another room was executed in Missouri despite efforts to save his life, supported by corrections officers.

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Brian Dorsey (Photo Jeremy Weis, Potosi Correctional Center)

Brian Dorsey (Photo Jeremy Weis, Potosi Correctional Center)

A convicted killer who was given the death penalty in Missouri for murdering his cousin and her husband as their 4-year-old daughter slept elsewhere was executed on Tuesday, despite strong support, including from corrections officers, to save his life.

Brian Dorsey, 52, was executed at 6:11 p.m. at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre for the shooting deaths of his cousin Sarah Bonnie and her husband Ben Bonnie in December 2006, officials said in a news release, CNN reported.

In a statement through his attorneys, Dorsey apologized.

“To all of the family and loved ones I share with Sarah and to all of the surviving family and loved ones of Ben, I am totally, deeply, overwhelmingly sorry,” he said, CNN reported. “Words cannot hold the just weight of my guilt and shame. I still love you. I never wanted to hurt anyone. I am sorry I hurt them and you.”

A statement from Sarah Bonnie’s family read, “Not only did Jade lose her parents but we also lost a daughter and son, sister and brother, aunt and uncle, and a great aunt and great uncle to so many. They were loved so deeply by anyone that knew them. All of these years of pain and suffering we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Brian will get the justice that Sarah and Ben have deserved for so long.”

Dorsey’s attorneys said the U.S. Supreme Court denied his requests to “consider whether he was denied the effective assistance of counsel by his attorneys’ flat-fee compensation or whether executing someone who is fully rehabilitated is cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment,” Dorsey’s attorneys told local NBC affiliate KSDK in a statement.

The execution came a day after Gov. Mike Parson confirmed the execution would take place as ordered by the Supreme Court of Missouri.

“Brian Dorsey punished his loving family for helping him in a time of need,” Parson said in a news release. “His cousins invited him into their home where he was surrounded by family and friends, then gave him a place to stay. Dorsey repaid them with cruelty, inhumane violence, and murder. The pain Dorsey brought to others can never be rectified, but carrying out Dorsey’s sentence according to Missouri law and the Court’s order will deliver justice and provide closure.”

The Bonnies took Dorsey into their home that day because two drug dealers were trying to collect on Dorsey’s drug debt, prosecutors said. That night, Dorsey killed the couple with their shotgun in their beds and sexually assaulted Sarah Bonnie as the Bonnies’ now-orphaned, 4-year-old daughter slept in another room.

Before leaving, Dorsey stole a car, firearms, medical supplies, a Social Security card, and their daughter’s copy of “Bambi II.”

Sarah Bonnie’s parents discovered their bodies on Christmas Eve. Dorsey turned himself in on Dec. 26, confessing to police that “he was the right guy concerning the deaths.”

Dorsey pleaded guilty to the murders and was sentenced to death on Aug. 28, 2008. Dorsey spent 17 years in prison, including time in an “honor dorm” and working for over a decade as the staff barber at Potosi Correctional Center.

Many people, including corrections officials, a former Missouri Supreme Court judge, several jurors, Democratic and Republican state legislators, faith leaders, and his family members, who are related to the victims, tried to save his life.

A group of 72 current and former Missouri correctional officers stated in a letter to Parson that while generally supporting capital punishment, they do not believe it is the right punishment for Brian Dorsey.

“All of us believe that Brian is a good person, someone who has stayed away from trouble, never found himself in any difficult situations, and has been respectful to us and his fellow inmates,” the officers stated. officers said. “The Brian I know does not deserve to be executed.”


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