October 4, 2022

AG’s office motions for execution date in 2000 rape, murder of 16-year-old girl

Therese Apel

Thomas Edwin Loden

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has filed a motion asking for the Supreme Court to enter an execution date in the next month for a man accused in the 2000 kidnapping, rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in Itawamba County.

In 2000, Thomas Edwin Loden kidnapped sixteen-year-old Leesa Marie Gray after discovering her stranded on the side of the road. He spent the next four hours repeatedly raping and sexually battering Leesa before suffocating and manually strangling her. Loden recorded various portions of the torture he inflicted on Leesa. Loden was indicted for capital murder, rape, and four counts of sexual battery.

Court records show Loden waived his right to a jury and pleaded guilty to the six charges. His defense also waived cross-examination of the state’s witnesses, objection to the state’s evidence, and offered no mitigation evidence.

The court sentenced him to death, stating “that sufficient aggravating circumstances existed, and that the mitigating circumstances do not outweigh the aggravating circumstances and that the death penalty should be imposed.”

He was also given five 30 year sentences: one for rape and the other four for sexual battery.

Loden has filed numerous appeals and has been denied on each of them. The AG’s office now contends that his state and federal appeals are exhausted and that an execution date should be set within the next 28 days.

David Neal Cox was the last person executed in the state of Mississippi on Nov. 17. Cox was executed by lethal injection at Parchman in the murder of his wife, Kim Cox. He shot her and raped her daughter in front of her as she died during an eight hour standoff with police.

Motion to Set Execution Dat… by ThereseApel

Share this Article


Related Articles