Only Native American on federal death row executed; victim’s father thanks Trump administration

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind.(WTWO/WAWV) — The only Native American on federal death row was put to death Wednesday, despite objections from many Navajo leaders who had urged President Donald Trump to halt the execution on the grounds it would violate tribal culture and sovereignty.

Lezmond Mitchell’s execution marked the fourth federal execution this year. The federal government has now carried out more executions in 2020 than it had in the previous 56 years combined.

Pentobarbital was administered shortly after 6:03 p.m. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons confirmed Mitchell was pronounced dead at 6:29 p.m.

When asked if he had any final words, Mitchell said, “No, I’m good.”

Mitchell, 38, and an accomplice were convicted of killing 9-year-old Tiffany Lee and 63-year-old Alyce Slim, who had offered them a lift in her pickup truck as they hitchhiked on the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona in 2001.

They stabbed Slim 33 times, slit Tiffany’s throat and stoned her to death. They later mutilated both bodies.

Victim’s father provides statement

Daniel Lee, father of victim Tiffany Lee, stands by while his lawyer, Colleen Clase, reads a prepared statement following the execution of Lezmond Mitchell. (WTWO Photo/Dana Winklepleck)

Daniel Lee, Tiffany’s dad, provided a statement following Wednesday’s execution:

I have waited nineteen years to get justice for my daughter, Tiffany. I will never get Tiffany back, but I hope that this will bring some closure.

It is my through my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that I am here to witness this today.

I have received messages of prayer from across the country. To those who have been praying for me during this process, thank you.

I would like to thank those who investigated her murder, prosecuted this case and ensured that justice was done.

This includes:

  • the Navajo Nation Police Department,
  • the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and
  • the United States Attorney’s Office.

I am grateful for the work of teh US Attorney’s Office over the last few weeks, days, and hours leading up to this moment.

I would also like to thank:

  • Attorney General William Barr, and
  • President Donald Trump

for the pursuit of justice for Tiffany. Had it not been for the Trump administration, I do not think I would have ever received justice or a sense of finality.

Last, I would like to thank the Warden as well as the BOP’s Crisis Response Team for the support they have provided to me in preparing for today.

I request that you respect my privacy during this difficult time and allow me the opportunity to try to move forward.

No witnesses attended on behalf of Mitchell, according to the BOP.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News