North-central Iowa drug kingpin Dustin Honken is scheduled to be put to death tomorrow after the United States Supreme Court today turned down a last-minute request to stop his execution.
The 52-year-old Honken of Britt was convicted of murder while engaged in drug trafficking, witness tampering, and soliciting the murder of a witness in connection with the 1993 murders of 34-year-old Greg Nicholson, 32-year-old Terry DeGeus, 31-year-old Lori Duncan and Duncan’s two children, 10-year-old Kandace and six-year-old Amber.
Their five bodies were found buried in a field southwest of Mason City in the fall of 2000. Honken was one of the Midwest’s early large-scale producers of methamphetamine and was originally sentenced in 1997 to a 27-year term for making and distributing drugs.
A U.S. District Judge on Tuesday ruled that he would not intervene to delay Honken’s execution date due to the coronavirus pandemic and also denied Honken’s motion to declare his execution void due to an alleged procedural error by the government on setting his execution date.
The U.S. Supreme Court early this morning denied an application by Honken’s spiritual advisor asking for a stay of execution until the pandemic recedes. Honken’s girlfriend Angela Johnson was also convicted in connection with the murders and was sentenced to death, but her punishment was reduced to life in prison in 2014.
(By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)