The high court on Thursday issued so-called “show cause orders” for two murderers currently on death row, Michael Shane Worthington and Leon Taylor.
Taylor was sentenced to death for the April, 1994 shooting death of a gas station manager in Independence, Missouri.
Evidence showed that after Taylor and a co-defendant robbed Robert Newton, he took Newton and his eight-year-old daughter to a back room where he shot Newton in the head. He tried to kill the young girl but his gun jammed. He locked the girl in the back room, with her dead father, and fled.
Taylor was sentenced to death May 11, 1995.
Michael Shane Worthing was convicted of murder for the September, 1995 strangulation death of his neighbor in St Charles County. He was sentenced to death on January 4, 1999.
Both show-cause orders require a response from the killers’ defense lawyers by April 14, and allow for a response by the state by April 24.