Stephen Michael West: Tennessee set to execute inmate by electrocution Thursday

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee inmate who says his accomplice was the one who fatally stabbed a mother and her 15-year-old daughter in 1986 is scheduled to die in the electric chair.

The execution of 56-year-old Stephen West is scheduled for Thursday evening at a Nashville prison.

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied his request for a stay of execution hours before he is scheduled to die in the electric chair.

West was also convicted of raping the teen.

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West has denied he’s a killer, saying his then-17-year-old accomplice killed 51-year-old Wanda Romines and her 15-year-old daughter, Sheila Romines. West was 23 at the time. The juvenile co-defendant received a life sentence, with parole possible in 2030.

In a court filing, the state has said West was sentenced to die for “brutally stabbing to death” the two victims.

Gov. Bill Lee denied West’s clemency application, which also said West has been taking powerful medication to treat mental illness.

For his last meal, West selected a Philly cheesesteak and french fries.

The three Catholic bishops in Tennessee, including Bishop Richard Stika in Knoxville, issued a statement opposing the execution.

“We, the bishops of the three dioceses in Tennessee in conjunction with the Catholic Public Policy Commission, clearly state our strong opposition to the state carrying out the death penalty today,” the statement from the bishops said. “Carrying out this execution does not serve the cause of justice and bucks the trend of states across the country moving away from the use of capital punishment.”

A vigil by death penalty opponents will be held at Krutch Park Extension between Clinch and Union avenues at 7 p.m.

WATE Six on Your Side anchor Lori Tucker is a media witness at the execution in Nashville and we will have complete coverage.

(Information from the Associated Press is included in this article.)

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