Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens declined a clemency request for Mark Christeson, 37, and on Tuesday the Missouri man moved on to meet his maker. Easing his passage was a fatal injection courtesy of the Department of Corrections. His was the first execution in Missouri since May of 2016.
Justice may have been terrible, but it was hardly swift. Nineteen years ago this week Christeson, then 18, and his 17-year-old cousin Jesse Carter invaded the rural south central Missouri home of 36-year-old Susan Brouk with the intention of stealing her Ford Bronco. While there, they raped Brouk and decided to kill her and her two children lest they talk.
This they proceeded to do at a nearby pond, slitting Brouk’s throat while her children watched and then drowning the kids. “The acts of violence that took this 36-year-old mother, her 12-year-old daughter, and her nine-year-old boy were unspeakably cruel,” said Greitens.
There was never any doubt about Christeson’s culpability. Carter testified against him in return for a sentence of life without parole. In an attempt to prolong his life on death row, Christeson’s attorneys argued that their client was not mentally competent.
Attorney General Josh Hawley disagreed. “Christeson was able to carry out normal everyday functions,” said Hawley. “He was able to respond to prison conduct violation allegations, identify a witness, request an attorney for a grievance, and provide his own version of events.”
Christeson’s final meal of a bacon cheeseburger, fries, a slice of pecan pie, and a soda would seem to bear out Hawley’s contention.
Said Greitens, “The process of justice on this matter has now reached its conclusion.”