Years later, S.C. man hopes father’s killer’s execution will move forward: ‘It’s time’
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - South Carolina announced this month it finally got its hands on lethal injection drugs, and one man said it’s news he’s been waiting to hear for 18 years.
Roger Turner sprinkled his 74-year-old father’s ashes at their favorite spot in Murrells Inlet back in 2005.
A man named Stephen Stanko murdered Roger’s dad, Henry Turner, in cold blood that year after killing his own girlfriend and attacking her daughter, who survived.
A judge later sentenced Stanko to death, and Turner thought the nightmare was over.
“Once his appeals were done, I was under the impression the execution would go forward,” Turner said.
Instead, Stanko has sat on death row for nearly 20 years.
South Carolina has not put anyone to death since 2011, but with lethal injections back on the table, Turner said he hopes it’ll soon close a long, dark chapter.
“I’ve forgiven him, but he’s gotta answer for what he did,” Turner said. “So as far as the chemical being able to be used now, it’s time. Now is time to use it.”
There are currently four inmates in the Grand Strand on death row, including Stanko, but it’s still unclear when South Carolina will restart executions.
Turner describes his father as his best friend, with whom he used to spend most of his time with as he got older.
He said he’s thankful for the impact he made on others.
“People who knew him knew he was a friend to everyone,” Turner said. “He would help anybody and everybody he ever met. He was an all-around great guy.”
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