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Former Prosecutor Won't Watch Execution



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The former prosecutor during Donald Moeller's second trial declined the invitation to watch the execution on Tuesday night. 

Former Lincoln County States Attorney Scott Abdallah said he will always have a special connection to this case, specifically a special connection to Becky O'Connell, but for him, he felt it was important to give up his spot to witness the execution for a law officer who was there working on the crime scene from the beginning. 

"It almost seemed like this day would never get here," said Abdallah. 

Scott Abdallah was only 29 years old when he prosecuted the re-trial of Donald Moeller in 1997, obtaining a conviction and a death sentence against Moeller for the killing of 9-year-old Becky O’Connell. 

Although he spent months on the case, he felt there were officers who were out at the crime scene from day one witnessing this horrific act, who would gain a sense of closure from seeing Moeller's execution. 

"There's a lot of law enforcement officers who poured their heart and soul into this case, who still live with the trauma of the case and the nightmares and in some respects, post traumatic stress," said Abdallah. 

It's been 15 years since the prosecution, and Abdallah says he'll never forget this case. 

"I'll always feel a connection to Becky," said Abdallah.

A lot of other people will also remember the tragic night of May 8, 1990, forever.

"There's a lot of people that lived in Sioux Falls that are still here that remember this crime very vividly and I think in some respects it will bring some closure to the people who remember this horrific crime," said Abdallah. 

He said once Moeller takes his last breath, he hopes people will always think of Becky O'Connell, whose innocent life was taken away. 

"After this sentence is carried out, that's who people remember, they remember Becky and not Donald Moeller," said Abdallah. 

DNA testing at the time of Moeller's second trial had evolved significantly from the first trial and after re-testing the samples from the crime scene and Moeller’s DNA, he was able to get an absolute identification of Moeller committing the crime of murder.
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