Killer found dead in cell days after move to set his execution date

Killer found dead in cell days after move to set his execution date

DEATH row inmate Stephen Hugueley - who slaughtered his own mom - has been found dead days after a move to set his execution date.

The Tennessee prisoner, 53, was convicted of gunning down Rachel Waller of Dyer County, and dumping her body in the Forked Deer River.

The evil multiple killer was found dead early Friday morning, just three days after the state filed a motion to set his execution date.

A statement from Tennessee Department of Correction spokesperson Dorinda Carter said he appears to have died from natural causes.

But the exact cause of death is pending a post-mortem.

He was pronounced dead at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution at 2.35am today.

Death row inmate Stephen Hugueley - who has died before his execution day.

Hugueley had been given a life sentence in August 1986 after he was convicted of fatally gunning down his mother.

In 1991, Hugueley killed a fellow inmate while he was incarcerated at the West Tennessee High Security Prison.

Then, in 1997, Hugueley stabbed another inmate at Tennessee's maximum security prison at the time, Brushy Mountain.


The killer was later moved to the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville.

He was eventually sentenced to death in 2003 for also fatally stabbing prison counselor Delbert Steed.

He killed Steed at the Hardeman County Correctional Complex the previous year, and was sentenced for execution for first degree premeditated murder.

Hugueley's attorney, Amy Harwell, confirmed that she had received a call just before 6am on Friday from a prison chaplain notifying her of her client's death.

She said that "he had been suicidal for years, but TDOC is telling me they do not think it was suicide".

Harwell also said that Hugueley had entered the Tennessee Department of Correction as a profoundly damaged man.

From his 12th birthday to today, he had spent less than two years outside of an institutional setting, she added.

"He spent the last 18 years in solitary confinement where he had severely limited interaction with other humans and was systematically denied access to treatment and basic health care," Harwell said.

She added: "Years of this kind of abuse took a tremendous physical and mental toll upon Stephen.

"That Stephen withstood this treatment for so long is a testament to the strength of his spirit."

Huguely doesn't want to live on death row, Dr Seidner

In 2017, he challenged the State of Tennessee over his convictions.

He filed a petition alleging that his 2013 MRI showed that he had congenital brain defects, and that newly discovered evidence showed he was incompetent at the time of his 2003 capital trial, as well as in 2008.

Hugueley bizarrely also said that he would be happy to live as a free man and raise a family, despite knowing that wasn't an option.

Dr Seidner told the court that the killer "does not want to live on death row" and had described his prison living conditions as “sensory deprivation- [which] breaks people mentally and physically... it’s torture."

But the judges "concluded that his claim of incompetency before and after his trial does not constitute newly discovered evidence", and struck out the suit.

Huguely had also recently sued the Correction Department in federal court over his solitary confinement.

In a statement sent to the court on Tuesday, he accused the department of "using the threat of impending execution to either compel me to commit suicide, like my father, or to coerce me into settling for less than I want".

The state then moved to set his execution date the same day. He was found dead three days later.
Killer found dead in cell days after move to set his execution date
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