1st woman in 5 years executed in US despite outcry

JARRATT, Va. – The first woman executed in the United States in 5 years was put to death in Virginia on Thursday for arranging the killings of her husband and a stepson over a $250,000 insurance payment.

Teresa Lewis, 41, died by injection at 9:13 p.m. Thursday, authorities said. She became the first woman executed in Virginia in nearly a century. Supporters and relatives of the victims watched her execution at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt.

Lewis enticed 2 men through sex, cash and a promised cut in an insurance policy to shoot her husband, Julian Clifton Lewis Jr., and his son, Charles, as they slept in October 2002. Both triggermen were sentenced to life in prison and one committed suicide in 2006.

Lewis appeared fearful, her jaw clenched, as she was escorted into the death chamber. She glanced tensely around at 14 assembled corrections officials before being bound to a gurney with heavy leather straps.

Moments before her execution, Lewis asked if her husband's daughter was near.

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