Michelle Byrom Execution in Miss. for Husband's Murder Postponed

Image: Michelle Byrom Execution in Miss. for Husband's Murder Postponed

Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 03:42 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Michelle Byrom would become the first woman executed in Mississippi since 1944, but it wasn't going to happen Thursday as requested.

CNN reported the state Supreme Court was still considering Byrom's post-conviction motion and had not replied to Attorney General Jim Hood's request that she be executed on or before March 27.

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Byrom is on death row for plotting the murder of her husband.

Despite allegations that her husband Edward Byrom Sr. was abusive and forced her into prostitution, and her son confessing several times to the murder, the Mississippi Supreme Court turned down her appeal in 2006.

Michelle Byrom was in the hospital receiving treatment for double pneumonia when the murder happened, but she told police in 1999 that she hired a friend of her son's to commit the murder and was going to pay him $15,000 for the hit as soon as she got her husband's life insurance money.

Byrom's son, Edward Byrom Jr., and his friend, Joey Gillis, served time for the case on plea deals and are both out of prison.

The New York Daily News reported that during his mother's trial, Byrom Jr. said that Gillis killed his father and lied about his confession letters after learning they were being read by authorities. He said that he made up killing details hoping that he and his mother would get favorable treatment.

Byrom's son and other family members said Michelle Byrom was beaten by her husband, forced to sell her body, and tried to commit suicide and one point, the Daily News reported.

Randy Bell, news director at WMSI-FM, told the Jackson Clarion Ledger that Mississippi law may have allowed Michelle Byrom to protect her son by taking the blame for the murder.

"This one concerns me," Bell said. "You expect her to try to protect her son. ... I don't know if executing someone is the best way to go about making this particular case right. There's no going back. Once it's done it's done. You can't change your mind."

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