Slain teen ‘loved life,’ mom says before killer’s execution


              Wanda Farris sits beside a picture of her daughter, 16-year-old Leesa Gray, that hangs inside Comer's Restaurant in Dorsey Miss., Thursday Dec. 8, 2022. Gray was kidnapped, raped and murdered by death row inmate Eddie Loden in the summer of 2000. Loden will be put to death by the state of Mississippi on Wednesday. (Thomas Wells/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP)
            
              Wanda Farris, the mother of slain teenager Leesa Gray, leaves the federal courthouse in Jackson, Miss., on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, after she and supporters listened to several hours of arguments about Mississippi's three-drug protocol for executions. Thomas Edwin Loden Jr. pleaded guilty in 2001 to capital murder, rape and four counts of sexual battery in the 2000 death of Gray, a 16-year-old waitress from north Mississippi. Loden is a plaintiff in the lawsuit. The Mississippi Supreme Court has scheduled his execution for Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              FILE - In this May 25, 2022, photo released by the Mississippi Department of Corrections is Thomas Edwin Loden Jr. In a Thursday, Nov, 17, 2022, ruling, the Mississippi Supreme Court granted a motion from the state to set an execution date for Loden Jr., a former U.S. Marine Corps recruiter who was convicted in the 2000 rape and killing of a 16-year-old waitress. Loden will be put to death on Dec. 14, at 6 p.m., or as soon as possible within 24 hours of that date. (Mississippi Department of Corrections via AP, File)
Slain teen ‘loved life,’ mom says before killer’s execution