Latest: Missouri inmate executed for killing family in 1998
BONNE TERRE — A Missouri man was executed for killing a woman and her two children in 1998.
The Missouri Department of Corrections spokesperson, Mike O'Connell, said Mark Christeson was executed by lethal injection just before 7 p.m.
According to court documents, Christeson and his 17-year-old cousin, Jesse Carter, broke into a home in Vichy, Missouri with the intention of stealing the owner's car. The two proceeded to kill Susan Brouk, her 12-year-old daughter, Adrian, and her 9-year-old son, Kyle.
Christeson was sentenced to death by lethal injection at 6 p.m. at a state prison in Bonne Terre on Tuesday. He filed an appeal Monday with the U.S. Supreme Court asking for a stay of execution. His legal team argued his previous lawyers did not put up an adequate defense.
But the Supreme Court refused to halt the execution and so did Gov. Eric Greitens. The Missouri Governor refused to grant Christenson clemency and in a statement, read by the acting director of the Department of Corrections, Greiten's said, "The process of justice on this matter has now reached its conclusion. We pray for comfort and healing for the families and friends whose lives have been deeply affected by these unspeakable crimes, so that they may find closure and peace."
Harley Brouk, the half-sister of Kyle and Adrian said in a statement in part, "Kyle was nine and Adrian was 12. They never got to fully live out their lives and go through college and high school and figure out what it is they wanted to do in this world. But now that they are above us, watching over us, I know I have the world’s greatest guardian angels anybody could ask for. This is a sad day, a happy day and a day that I will never forget."
In Christeson's final written statement he said, "To let my family know I love them with all my heart and I’m more than blessed to have them in my life. And thank God for such an amazing family."
The A.P reports Christeson mouthed "I love you" to his brother and sister-in-law as he was being put to death. O'Connell said he was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. This was Missouri's first execution since May 2015.
[Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the most recent information].
Below are the statements from Gov. Eric Greitens and Harley Brouk in full.
Department of Corrections Acting Director Anne L. Precythe read the following statement from Gov. Eric R. Greitens:
"Tonight, as we remember Susan, Adrian, and Kyle Brouk, our thoughts and prayers are again with their family members and loved ones. The acts of violence that took this 36-year-old mother, her 12-year-old daughter, and her nine-year-old boy were unspeakably cruel.
Susan was a single mother whose life revolved around her children. Adrian was a seventh grader who did well in school and played volleyball. She hoped to one day be a veterinarian or a teacher. Kyle was only nine. He played soccer and dreamed of being an Army officer. They were a loving family, living a quiet life in a rural community. Their hopes and dreams were taken away by these evil crimes.
The man who was found guilty by a jury of raping and murdering Susan and murdering her two beloved children, Kyle and Adrian, has now had his sentence carried out. We know that a Missouri family will always miss and grieve the young mother and her two children who have been gone for nearly 20 years. Tonight, we grieve with them.
The process of justice on this matter has now reached its conclusion. We pray for comfort and healing for the families and friends whose lives have been deeply affected by these unspeakable crimes, so that they may find closure and peace. I ask that Missourians join me in keeping the family of Susan, Adrian, and Kyle Brouk in their thoughts and prayers tonight."
Harley Brouck, half-sister of Adrian and Kyle Brouck, read the following statement:
"Almost 19 years ago to the day my brother and sister were taken from us, this is the day that we finally get justice for them. I know that they are watching over us and they’re happy for all of us. There’s not a day that goes by that I do not miss them and I wish that they were here.
Now we have justice and we can all move forward through this tragedy the rest of the way. I was only five when they were taken from me but it has impacted my life entirely. I never got to have that special bond with my brother or sister that every kid wishes for.
Kyle was nine and Adrian was 12. They never got to fully live out their lives and go through college and high school and figure out what it is they wanted to do in this world.
But now that they are above us, watching over us, I know I have the world’s greatest guardian angels anybody could ask for.
This is a sad day, a happy day and a day that I will never forget. This poem that I am about to read was written by Adrian when she was in the sixth grade. I received it when I needed it the most. It’s like she was talking to me from above. It’s perfect."
(Poem written by Adrian Brouk when she was in the sixth grade provided by the Brouk family and read by Harley Brouk)
Our love will always be there
Even when fate is not fair
Sometimes our love may be lost
But that’s not always the ultimate cost
Love is when you meet the unique
The one your heart is out to seek
Love is soaring to the sky
But not everyone can tell you why
Love is when your heart has a voice
What will happen is not your choice
"I hope that this touched you guys as much as it touched me. I will never forget my brother or my sister. Rest in peace my sweet angels."
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