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Nevada Executes Triple Murderer

March 30, 1996

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) _ A man who was high on drugs and alcohol when he killed a bartender, a cook and his ex-wife was executed by injection early Saturday.

Three minutes after the drug began flowing through his veins, Richard Allen Moran, 42, was pronounced dead at 12:10 a.m. at Nevada State Prison.

Just two days before his execution, Moran said he was ready to die for the August 1984 murders of bartender Sandra Devere, 24, and off-duty cook Russell Rhodes, 27, in a Las Vegas barroom. He killed his ex-wife, Linda Vandervoort, nine days after those murders and then tried to kill himself.

On Thursday, Moran apologized to his victims’ families.

``You can’t even begin to imagine what it feels like to know you’ve killed somebody,″ Moran said in a jailhouse interview with The Associated Press. ``Innocent people, you know, not self-defense, not some scumbag who was beating his wife and you were coming to her rescue or something.″

It’s like ``you turned in your membership card to the human race,″ he said.

Moran decided against any more last-minute appeals Friday after a federal court rejected his request for a stay of execution.

In the 90-minute interview, Moran said that while he didn’t want to die, he also didn’t like the alternative: spending the rest of his life in prison.

``I’m looking at Saturday as being out of prison, you know what I mean? That’s not a bad thing,″ he said.

Moran, on Nevada’s death row for 11 years, had been spending his last days in a high-security wing at Nevada State Prison, writing letters, having a final visit with his family and reading books _ including ``Dead Man Walking,″ the story of a nun who counsels death row inmates.

In talking about the events that led up to the murders, Moran said he had been fired a few weeks earlier from a bartending job because of drugs, and was in a cocaine-induced paranoid state at the time.

``I was on the end of a real long drug and alcohol binge ... I was pretty wrecked,″ he said. ``I was in a downward spiral. It was just the breaking point.″

Moran said he had found inner strength by going back to the Catholic faith.

``I pray for strength and I have it, and I don’t think I’m doing it on my own,″ he said.

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