Who killed Stephen Hugueley? 'Suicidal' death row inmate who murdered his mom dies in jail
Death row inmate, Stephen Hugueley, 53, who was convicted of murdering his own mother was found dead in jail on Friday, July 16. The news of his death comes after a move to set his execution date. Hugueley was convicted of gunning down his mother Rachel Waller of Dyer County, and dumping her body in the Forked Deer River.
The Tennessee prisoner was found dead just three days after the state filed a motion to set his execution date. According to a statement from Tennessee Department of Correction spokesperson Dorinda Carter, Hugueley died of natural causes. Officials are still waiting for a post-mortem report. In another news, Texas death row inmate Quintin Jones, who beat his great-aunt to death was executed by lethal injection on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.
Pervis Payne: Tennessee death row inmate with 'intellectual disability' set to be executed without DNA testing
Will Dylann Roof be executed? Charleston church shooter wants death penalty dropped, claims 'mental illness'
Hugueley was declared dead at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution at 2.35 am on July 15. Hugueley's attorney, Amy Harwell, said that she received confirmation about Hugueley's death just before 6 am on July 15. "He had been suicidal for years, but TDOC is telling me they do not think it was suicide," she said. "He spent the last 18 years in solitary confinement where he had severely limited interaction with other humans and was systematically denied access to treatment and basic health care. Years of this kind of abuse took a tremendous physical and mental toll upon Stephen. That Stephen withstood this treatment for so long is a testament to the strength of his spirit, " she added.
Hugueley was given a life sentence in August 1986 for killing his mother. In 1991, killed a fellow inmate while he was incarcerated at the West Tennessee High-Security Prison. Again in 1997, he stabbed another inmate, Brushy Mountain at Tennessee's maximum-security prison. Hugueley was then moved to the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. He killed prison counselor Delbert Steed at the Hardeman County Correctional Complex in 2002 and was sentenced for execution for first-degree premeditated murder in 2003.
Hugueley challenged the State of Tennessee over his convictions in 2017 by filing a petition alleging that his 2013 MRI showed that he had congenital brain defects and that newly discovered evidence showed he was incompetent at the time of his 2003 capital trial, as well as in 2008. Huguely also sued the Correction Department in federal court recently over his solitary confinement. In a statement that was sent to court on July 12, he accused the department of "using the threat of impending execution to either compel me to commit suicide, like my father or to coerce me into settling for less than I want." The state then moved to set Hugueley's execution date the same day and he was found dead three days later.