He was convicted of rape and murder. Now 22-years later, the day has finally been set for Donald Moeller's execution.
A judge declared that Moeller will be put to death during the week of October 28 and November 3, 2012; marking what could be Moeller's last time before a judge.
The man who entered the courtroom looks nothing like the Donald Moeller we first saw almost two decades ago. Moeller was joined by his lawyer Mark Marshall, who told the judge, his client knew this day would come.
"Mr. Moeller has directed me to not oppose this motion for issuance of a warrant of execution and waive any time frame set by statute." Said Marshall.
After years of appeals to nearly every court, Moeller is now out of options. Attorney General Marty Jackley says the legal process may have been slow but Moeller has been given every constitutional right.
"There's been a long 22 years of procedural history and Donald Moeller has received due process under the state and federal constitution." Said Jackley.
But what the O'Connell family wanted more than anything was for Moeller to take responsibility for killing 9-year old Becky.
"Mr. Moeller specifically told me, that he accepts the execution as the consequences for his action." Said Marshall.
But when Moeller had the opportunity to speak, his words were few.
Judge: Anything you want to say Mr. Moeller?
Moeller: no, thank you.
Moeller didn't flinch as the judge announced the date he will be put to death. While the O'Connell family did not want to say anything, the attorney general says this ruling was long overdue.
"Certainly today, we are taking a step in the right direction for a 9-year old little girl's family to bring closure to something that happened a long time ago." Said Jackley.
Because Moeller was convicted prior to January 2001, he will have the choice in what chemical compound is used to put him to death. The exact date and time of his execution is still left up to the warden of the state penitentiary.
Moeller has a pending appeal claiming that South Dakota's death penalty is unconstitutional, but Attorney General Jackley believes that appeal will be dismissed with today's ruling.