A Tennessee inmate was put to death Wednesday for the
murder of the couple in 1985. Steve Henley was executed by lethal injection at
1:33 a.m. after the U.S. Supreme Court denied his appeal late Tuesday.
Henley, 55, was convicted of shooting Fred and Edna Stafford
and then setting their farmhouse on fire. An autopsy showed Edna was still
alive when the fire was set.
Henley blamed the Stafford’s deaths on co-defendant Terry
Flatt. Flatt, who maintained that Henley was drunk and high on drugs when he
murdered the couple, served five years in prison and completed his parole last
The execution is Tennessee’s first since September 2007. In
February 2007, the state put executions on hold to review how the lethal
injection was administered. The hold was lifted in May 2007.
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