Amber McLaughlin’s Last Words Before Execution in Missouri

Missouri put an inmate to death on Tuesday for a 2003 murder in what is believed to be the first execution of a transgender person in the United States

Amber McLaughlin, 49, was convicted of stalking and killing former girlfriend Beverly Guenther, then dumping the body near the Mississippi River in St. Louis.

A jury was deadlocked on sentencing, but a judge sentenced McLaughlin to death in 2006.

During her execution, she spoke quietly with a spiritual advisor by her side as the lethal dose of pentobarbital was injected, the Associated Press reported.

Missouri executed Amber McLaughlin in what is believed to be the first execution of a transgender person in the United States
Federal Public Defender via the Death Penalty Information Center

McLaughlin breathed heavily several times, then closed her eyes and was pronounced dead minutes later. “I’m sorry for what I did,” McLaughlin said in a final written statement. “I am a loving and caring person.”

His execution took place after Republican Governor Mike Parson refused a clemency request.

“McLaughlin’s conviction and sentence stand after multiple and thorough reviews of Missouri law. McLaughlin stalked, raped and murdered Ms. Guenther. McLaughlin is a violent criminal,” Parson said in a statement confirming that the execution is proceeding. would continue.

“Ms. Guenther’s family and loved ones deserve peace. The State of Missouri will serve McLaughlin’s sentence as ordered by the Court and deliver justice.”

McLaughlin’s attorney, Larry Komp, has been contacted for comment.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, there are no known previous cases of the execution of an openly transgender prisoner. McLaughlin began his transition about three years ago at Potosi State Prison.

According to court records, McLaughlin began a relationship with Guenther in 2002 which ended in the spring of 2003.

After they stopped dating, McLaughlin would show up at the office where Guenther worked, sometimes hiding inside the building. Guenther was granted a restraining order, and officers sometimes escorted her to her car after work.

Guenther’s neighbors called the police on the night of November 20, 2003, when she failed to return home.

Police found a broken knife handle and a trail of blood near his car outside the office building. McLaughlin then led police to a location near the Mississippi River in St. Louis where Guenther’s body had been dumped.

McLaughlin’s clemency request cited his abusive childhood and mental health issues, which the jury never heard from during his trial.

McLaughlin is the first person executed in the United States in 2023.

Eighteen men have been put to death in the country in 2022, including two detainees – Carman Deck and Kevin Johnson – in Missouri.

Another Missouri inmate, Leonard Taylor, is due to be executed on February 7.


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