Execution date requested for man convicted of killing Natchez student

Published 12:10am Tuesday, March 26, 2013

NATCHEZ — The man on death row for the 1992 murder of Natchez native Jon Steckler and another Mississippi State student will soon face execution.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied Monday Willie Jerome Manning’s last appeal hopes, meaning the court will not review the case, according to a press release from Attorney General Jim Hood’s office.

As a result, Hood has requested the Mississippi Supreme Court set an execution date for Manning, which by law must be set on or before April 24, according to the press release.

Manning, now 44, received two death sentences for the slayings of Steckler and Tiffany Miller, who were both Mississippi State University students at the time. Steckler is the son of Natchez resident Dale Steckler and the late Dr. David Steckler.

On Dec. 11, 1992, the bodies of Miller and Steckler were discovered in rural Oktibbeha County. Both students had been shot to death, and Miller’s car was missing. The vehicle was found the next morning.

Prosecutors said Manning was arrested after he attempted to sell certain items belonging to the victims.

His conviction was upheld by the Mississippi Supreme Court, which also denied Manning’s post-conviction petition. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals turned Manning’s request for appeal down in July 2012. The court said Manning filed his post-conviction claim too late to be heard in state courts.

Steckler’s sister, Suzanne, said Manning’s death will not help her family.

“This is just my personal opinion, and I won’t speak for the rest of my family, but it doesn’t bring our brother back,” she said. “Because of that, we don’t wish that ill will on anyone else’s family. I don’t believe (Manning’s) death helps us in one way or another.”

  • Anonymous

    It might not help the family,but it will stop him from doing it to someone elses,s family again.

  • khakirat

    Its mind bottling how these people are boarded(food, clothes, medical, the works) all this time after being convicted in a court of law for it taking this long!!! Victims have less rights than the convicts just don’t add up!!! This is just one case that gets you to thinking of other cases thr out the USA and the waste of money not counting the suffering of the victims families that #1!!!

  • pikeresident

    He should have been executed YEARS ago. Why should taxpayers pay for this poor excuse of a human to have housing and 3 meals a day for over 20 years..ridiculous!

  • Anonymous

    I have no objections to the death penalty on its face, but the fact that the innocence project has found so many people who were convicted wrongly has made me decide the death penalty should not be part of our system of law. As long as lawyers hide or fabricate evidence for their own promotion, as long as lab workers fake results for the praise received in helping prosecute criminals, as long as police plant evidence or lie on the stand, then the death penalty holds no place in our courts of law.

    Ms. Steckler, you are a good, kind human being. I don’t know if I could be as brave and candid as you. Or as concerned about a killer’s family. I’m so very sorry for you and your family’s terrible loss.

  • Anonymous

    That’s “mind boggling,” khakirat, not mind bottling. LOL. I love the Archie Bunkers on this site.

  • concerned redneck

    They should have walked him out of court and strait to the execution table

  • Anonymous

    I pity this man. A killer. A convicted killer. What happened to this man in his life that he had ZERO respect for human life. But I don’t believe in the death penalty. Who am I , or the State, or YOU to take a life in reprisal? Murder is murder, regardless.
    Off the soapbox.
    Ms. Steckler is a CLASSY lady, with strong religious convictions. That takes internal strength and peace to say -in the article- what she did.
    Classy lady, and a good Christian. And it shows.
    God Bless the Stecklers.