The District Attorney's office is seeking an execution date of Aug. 19 for convicted murderer Jason Manuel Reeves after prosecutor Cynthia Killingsworth filed a death warrant for him Wednesday.
Reeves, 43, was convicted of first-degree murder in 2004 after abducting 4-year-old Mary Jean Thigpen from Moss Bluff on Nov. 1, 2001, and then raping her before stabbing her 16 times and slicing her neck.
The U.S. Supreme Court last month denied an appeal by Reeves and that decision set things in motion for this week's developments.
Killingsworth filed the death warrant with the Calcasieu Clerk of Court and it was expected to be sent to Angola to be served on Reeves.
It has been nearly 20 years since Thigpen was killed and in that time Reeves has had two trials, one previous death warrant filed, several hearings, and he has filed multiple appeals.
Reeves' first trial began Oct. 27, 2003, but was declared a mistrial after the jury was unable to meet a unanimous verdict on the first-degree murder charge.
His second murder trial ended with jurors finding him guilty on Nov. 4, 2004. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection on Dec. 10, 2004.
Judge Mike Canaday signed a death warrant for Reeves in 2012 but the defense appealed, stating the defendant suffered from an intellectual disability. Canaday ruled in May 2015 against that assertion.
In April 2016, the state's Supreme Court upheld that ruling and Reeves' death sentence.
Last year Canaday heard motions in state district court that centered on Reeves' statement he had received ineffective counsel.
The state Supreme Court denied that appeal by Reeves in 2018, saying, in part, "Once again, Reeves improperly attempts to re-litigate an issue upon which he has already sought review."
Killingsworth, after one of Reeves' previous appeals, told the American Press she thought this case would have been over with a long time ago. "It's so terrible for the (Thigpen) family. It's ridiculous that it's been this many years and isn't finished yet."
Although the death warrant has been filed and an execution date of August 19 is sought by the D.A.'s office, it's not likely it would take place at that time since executions in Louisiana are currently on hold due to issues with the state's execution process.
Reeves has been on death row at Angola since 2004.