The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a stay-of-execution request filed in the case of death-row inmate Lezmond Mitchell, who is scheduled to die Wednesday for his role in the horrific slayings of a woman and her 9-year-old granddaughter in 2001.
The Navajo Nation, which opposes the death penalty in general, had submitted the stay request to Associate Justice Elena Kagan, who referred the matter to the full court, where the request was denied, Fox News confirmed.
Mitchell’s lawyers also have a clemency request pending before President Trump, The Arizona Republic reported.
The Navajo Nation, of which Mitchell is a member, has also argued that the U.S. government’s planned action would infringe on the Native American group’s culture and sovereignty.
The girl’s family, however, wants Mitchell to die.
“An eye for an eye,” Daniel Lee, father of young Tiffany Lee, told the Associated Press. “He took my daughter away, and no remorse or anything like that. The Navajo Nation president, the council, they don’t speak for me. I speak for myself and for my daughter.”
“He took my daughter away, and no remorse or anything like that. The Navajo Nation president, the council, they don’t speak for me. I speak for myself and for my daughter.”
— Daniel Lee, father of slain child
Mitchell and co-defendant Johnny Orsinger hit Tiffany in the head with rocks until she died because she didn’t succumb right away after they slit her throat, authorities have said.
A short time earlier, the men had fatally stabbed Tiffany’s 63-year-old grandmother 33 times after carjacking her vehicle in New Mexico.
This undated family photo shows Lezmond Mitchell, who is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday at a federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Ind. (Family member Auska Mitchell via Associated Press)
The men then propped Alyce Slim’s dead body in the back seat of the car, next to Tiffany, as they drove to an abandoned sheep camp where Tiffany was killed, the AP reported.
The pair then planned to use Slim’s vehicle for an armed robbery, according to the AP.
Orsinger was a minor at the time of the killings so was ineligible for the death penalty, The Republic reported. He received a life sentence after pleading guilty to murder and other crimes.
The execution of Mitchell, 38, would be among the first undertaken by the U.S. Justice Department since the Trump administration said it would end an informal moratorium on capital punishment despite the federal death penalty being revived in 1994.
Mitchell was the first Native American sentenced to death since that year and is the only Native American currently on death row, the AP reported.
The execution would be carried out Wednesday evening at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Ind., where Mitchell was being held, according to the Republic.
Fox News’ Shannon Bream and William Mears and The Associated Press contributed to this story.