first_imgTERRE HAUTE, INDIANA — Nearly 16 years after being convicted, and almost 27 years after the crimes were committed, a north-central Iowa drug kingpin has become the first Iowa defendant in over five decades to be executed.52-year-old Dustin Honken of Britt was convicted in 2004 of murder while engaged in drug trafficking, witness tampering, and soliciting the murder of a witness in connection with the 1993 murders of 34-year-old Greg Nicholson, 32-year-old Terry DeGeus, 31-year-old Lori Duncan and Duncan’s two children, 10-year-old Kandace and six-year-old Amber. Their five bodies were found buried in a field southwest of Mason City in the fall of 2000.The execution was carried out at the federal prison in Terre Haute Indiana, where two other executions were held earlier this week after a 17-year hiatus of federal executions.Honken was pronounced dead at 4:36 p.m., the Bureau of Prisons said. Honken was one of the Midwest’s early large-scale producers of methamphetamine and was originally sentenced in 1997 to a 27-year term for making and distributing drugs.Honken’s girlfriend Angela Johnson was also convicted in connection with the murders and was sentenced to death, but her punishment was reduced to life in prison in 2014.Earlier today, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals denied Honken’s latest motion for a stay of execution pending appeal. It’s possible that Honken’s attorneys will appeal to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and then finally to the United States Supreme Court.Honken is the first Iowa defendant to be put to death since 1963. The state of Iowa abolished the death penalty in 1965, but federal prosecutors successfully sought to execute Honken for killing government informants and children.=== The US Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa Peter Deegan issued a statement to KGLO News prior to today’s execution.“As Attorney General Barr has stated, Congress and Presidents from both parties have authorized the death penalty for the most heinous crimes, and the crimes of Dustin Honken are no exception. Honken has received the thorough, fair and due process afforded by the American criminal justice system, and now we owe it to the victims that he receive just punishment for his terrible crimes against them.” The Associated Press contributed to this reportlast_img read more