Mo. Executes Killer of Three

Wednesday, August 30th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

POTOSI, Mo. (AP) — A man was executed by injection early Wednesday for killing a woman and her two sons during a 1992 robbery because he feared the family would identify him.

Prosecutors said Gary Lee Roll and two accomplices went to the Scheper's Cape Girardeau home in southeast Missouri early Aug. 9, 1992, with the intent to commit robbery. Sherry Scheper, 47, was beaten to death with a gun; Randy, 17, was shot and killed; and Curtis, 22, was stabbed to death.

The men then left with 12 plastic sandwich-sized bags full of marijuana and $214 in cash.

The slaying went unsolved for several weeks until. However, one of the accomplices began to fear that Roll might harm him, too. So he wore a tape recorder during a conversation with Roll. On the tape, Roll admitted to the crime, saying he killed the Schepers because ``they knew everybody ... and I figured then they know me ...''

The accomplice gave the tape to a friend, who turned it over to police. Roll and the teens were arrested in November 1992. Roll later pleaded guilty to all three slayings.

Roll, 47, said in an interview that constant pain caused by a botched oral surgery 18 years ago led him to a life of drugs and crime.

``It affected my life so much,'' Roll said. ``It changed me.''

He was the third inmate executed in Missouri this year and the 44th since the death penalty was reinstated in 1989. Gov. Mel Carnahan had denied his request for clemency late Tuesday.