Alabama Man Executed for Restaurant Killings

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) –  Alabama has put to death a man convicted for the 1994 shooting deaths of three fast food restaurant employees.

Officials say 46-year-old Robert Melson was pronounced dead at 10:27 p.m. CDT Thursday following a lethal injection at a southwest Alabama prison.

Melson was convicted of killing three people during a robbery of a Popeye’s restaurant in Gadsden, 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of Birmingham.

State prosecutors said Melson opened fire on four employees after ordering them into the restaurant’s freezer.

The surviving employee crawled out of the freezer and called for help. Melson’s attorneys had filed a flurry of last-minute appeals seeking to stay the execution.

They argued there were unsettled questions about the humaneness of Alabama’s lethal injection process.

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