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A Murderer Had These Chilling Last Words To His Victim’s Parents Before His Execution

Death row. Stellamc, Shutterstock

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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Murderer Charles Rhines did not offer an apology to the parents of the man he murdered mere moments before his death Monday, but instead said he prays that God would forgive the parents for their “anger and hatred” toward him.

Rhines, 63, murdered his former co-worker, 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer, 27 years ago when Schaeffer walked in on Rhines burglarizing Rapid City’s Dig ‘Em Donuts in South Dakota, the Rapid City Journal reported. Rhines stabbed Schaeffer twice, tied the young man’s hands behind his back and struck him in the back of the head.

Rhines spoke before his execution Monday. (RELATED: Supreme Court Declines Review Of Transgender Bathroom Case)

“Ed and Peggy Schaeffer, I forgive you for your anger and hatred towards me,” Rhines said as he lay strapped to a table in the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls, the Rapid City Journal reported. “I pray to God that he forgives you for your anger and hatred towards me.”

Police arrested Rhines in June 1992, and a jury convicted him of first-degree premeditated murder in January 1993 and sentenced him to death.

Rhines filed a plethora of appeals and lawsuits that prevented his execution for 27 years. A coroner pronounced him dead at 7:39 p.m. Monday.

Ed Schaeffer said that “It was all about him,” after Rhines’ execution. Peggy Schaeffer said she “almost had to laugh” at Rhines’ comments, saying they were “really odd” and adding, “It was still about him.”

The parents said they never hated Rhines because they never knew him. Instead, they hated the crime he committed, they told the Rapid City Journal.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it declined to hear Rhines’ three legal challenges: one related to the method of execution, another alleging the jury that sentenced him to death rather than life in prison around other men was motivated by homophobia, and a final challenge about not being allowed to use his lawyers’ mental health experts, which would have aided in a clemency petition.

Liberal advocacy groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, have advocated on Rhines’ behalf and said he was discriminated against because of his sexuality.

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