Death Sentence Upheld in SeMo Murder Case

JULY 12, 2005 - Posted at 2:41 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - The Supreme Court upholds the conviction and death sentence of a southeast Missouri man convicted of abducting and killing another man.

Mark Anthony Gill of Cape Girardeau was convicted in March 2004 of first degree murder, kidnapping and other charges related to the death of Ralph Lape, Jr.

Police say Gill and another Cape Girardeau man, Justin Brown, entered Lape's Jackson home in July 2002 and forced him into a pickup truck.  Lape was later shot in the head and buried near Portageville.

Investigators followed the trail of Lape's bank debit card, which Gill allegedly used until he was arrested in New Mexico.

Court documents show Gill eventually acknowledged planning and taking part in the killing but said Brown actually shot the victim.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)