The Mississippi Supreme Court has set an execution date for Thomas Loden Jr.’s death sentence after being found guilty of the death of a 16-year-old girl in 2000.
Loden has since been found guilty of capital murder, rape, and four counts of sexual battery for kidnapping, repeatedly raping and strangling 16-year-old Leesa Marie Gray to death after discovering her stranded on the side of the road. He pled guilty to all six charges and waived his right to a trial by jury.
In addition to receiving a death sentence by the Itawamba County Circuit Court, Loden was also sentenced to 30 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections for rape and 30 years for each of his four sexual battery convictions.
The Mississippi Supreme Court issued the following statement regarding Loden’s execution date:
“After due consideration, the Court finds that Loden has exhausted all state and federal remedies for purposes of setting an execution date under Mississippi Code Section 99-19-106. Accordingly, the Court finds that the State’s Motion to Set Execution Date should be granted and a date should be set for execution of the death sentence imposed upon Loden.”
Now, Loden has been sentenced to be executed at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14, “or as soon as possible thereafter within the next 24 hours.”