Donald Ray Wallace Executed

Published: Mar. 10, 2005 at 4:54 AM CST|Updated: Mar. 14, 2005 at 11:04 AM CST
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New Media Producer: Kerry Corum

UPDATE: Stefanie Silvey wraps-up the Wallace story for us from the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City.

After spending more than half his life on death row, one of Indiana's most notorious killers paid for the 1980 murders of the Patrick Gilligan family, with his own life. 

Donald Ray Wallace was pronounced dead at 12:23 Thursday morning, his last words were, "I hope everyone can find peace with this." The process started shortly after midnight, when he was wheeled in on a gurney. The witnesses left visibly upset, but said he was ready for this and that he looked at it as an early parole. This, after being on death row for more than 23 years.

UPDATE: A man who killed an Evansville family,

and then spent 23 years on death row, has been executed at the
Indiana State Prison.
With groups of supporters and opponents of the death penalty
waiting outside the prison, Donald Ray Wallace was put to death by
chemical injection shortly after 12:00 Thursday morning.
He is the 84th person executed by the state of Indiana since
1897, and the 12th since the death penalty was reinstated in 1977.

Wallace was convicted in 1982 of killing Theresa Gilligan, her husband, Patrick, and their two young children during a robbery at their home.

He exhausted all his appeals, even to the US Supreme Court, and decided not to ask Governor Mitch Daniels for clemency. A Department of Correction spokesman says Wallace's final statement was, "I hope everyone can find peace with this."

He was injected with the lethal chemicals and was pronounced dead at 12:23 Thursday morning.

Later, his lawyer read a statement outside the prison, saying the execution "only created more pain and continued the cycle of hate and violence." Attorney Sarah Nagy says, in spite of the execution, it was Wallace's wish that healing may finally come to everyone affected by the murders.

Wallace spent much of his final day visiting with friends. He had a final meal of filet mignon, baked potato and cake on Tuesday.

Previously: Donald Ray Wallace has been executed for the murders of the Patrick Gilligan family in Evansville in 1980.

Michigan City State Prison officials report that the 47-year-old Wallace died as the result of lethal injection at 12:23 am CST Thursday.

Wallace's last words were, "I hope everyone can find peace with this."

Shortly after the execution, two of Wallace's family members spoke with the media. Shannon Wallace said, "In killing Don, the state has only created more pain, and continued the cycle of hate and violence. Don felt this way, and so do we."

Kathleen Wallace added, "In spite of this, it was his wish that peace and healing may finally come to all those affected by this case, and everyone who was touched by his life."

Newswatch's Stefanie Silvey is at the prison and will provide live reports on Newswatch Sunrise and throughout the day Thursday. Come back to this site for updates as they become available.

Some contributions courtesy AP, All Rights Reserved.