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S.C. man electrocuted for killing couple in '96

An S.C. man convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend's parents 14 years ago was executed in the state's electric chair Friday night after a last-ditch effort to halt the sentence was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court.

James Earl Reed was pronounced dead at 11:27 p.m. Friday in the state's death chamber in Columbia. He did not issue a final statement.

The execution, first scheduled for 6 p.m., had been put on hold as defense attorneys successfully obtained a stay from a federal judge, only to see it vacated by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Their attempt to get the U.S. Supreme Court to block the execution was denied.

Reed, 49, was the first person electrocuted in South Carolina in more than four years. He had been on death row since 1996, when he was convicted of murdering Joseph and Barbara Lafayette in their Charleston County home two years earlier.

During his trial, Reed represented himself, denying the killings despite a confession and arguing that no physical evidence placed him at the scene.

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