Iowa Meth Kingpin Who Killed 5 Set for Execution

Dustin Lee Honken will be 3rd federal inmate executed this week
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 17, 2020 12:15 AM CDT
Iowa Meth Kingpin Who Killed 5 Set for Execution
In this Aug. 18, 2004 photo, Dustin Honken is led by federal marshals to a waiting car after the second day of jury selection in federal court in Sioux City, Iowa.   (Tim Hynds/Sioux City Journal via AP, File)

A meth kingpin from Iowa who killed five people, including two young girls, is scheduled Friday to become the third federal inmate to be executed this week, following a 17-year pause in federal executions. Dustin Honken, 52, was sentenced to death for killing government informants and children in his effort to thwart his drug trafficking prosecution in 1993. Honken is set to die by lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he’s been on death row since 2005. His lawyers are making last-minute pleas for a reprieve, but their chances of success seem remote after the Supreme Court reversed lower-court orders that sought to block the executions of two other men this week, the AP reports.

After Greg Nicholson, one of the two dealers Honken used to distribute his product, cooperated with investigators, secretly recorded Honken, and testified before a grand jury, Honken agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to manufacture meth. But days before his July 1993 plea hearing, he and his girlfriend, Angela Johnson, went searching for Nicholson. They found him at the home where he lived with his girlfriend, Lori Duncan, and her daughters, 10-year-old Kandi and 6-year-old Amber. The four were kidnapped, shot to death, and buried, but their bodies weren't found for seven years. Honken also killed his other dealer, 32-year-old Terry DeGeus, whose body was found a few miles away from Honken's other victims. Honken was convicted of the Iowa killings in 2004.

(More death penalty stories.)

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