A man who robbed and shot a sandwich shop employee in 1992 was executed by injection tonight at the Greensville Correctional Center after losing a U.S. Supreme Court appeal and a plea for clemency.
Jason Matthew Joseph, 27, was convicted of the robbery and murder of Jeffrey Anderson, 22, who worked at a Subway restaurant in Portsmouth.
A corrections official said Joseph was pronounced dead at 9:05 p.m.
Asked for a final statement, Joseph said, "No more pain."
In a signed statement released after the execution, Joseph said he hoped Anderson's family and friends "can finally find some closure and peace. I am truly sorry for the pain I've caused your family and mine. I've brought so much pain to so many people. All that I can say to both families is I wish you all NO MORE PAIN."
The Supreme Court voted 7 to 2 this morning to reject Joseph's request for a stay of execution. Late this afternoon, Gov. James S. Gilmore III (R) turned down Joseph's clemency request.
According to a Virginia Supreme Court summary of evidence, an accomplice gave Joseph his .45-caliber pistol. The two men then entered the sub shop, and Joseph ordered a sandwich.
After the sandwich was made, Joseph took the gun out of his pocket and ordered Anderson to open the cash register and give him the money. Anderson complied, and Joseph ordered him to get down on the floor behind the counter. Joseph reached over the counter and shot Anderson in the back.
Prosecutors told jurors at a sentencing hearing that Joseph had committed other crimes, including the armed robbery and abduction of two convenience store clerks.
Joseph's attorneys argued in a clemency petition to Gilmore that their client should not be executed because jurors were influenced "by false and highly inflammatory media reports."
The lawyers said newspapers incorrectly reported that after the verdict, Joseph made a profane, disparaging remark to the victim's family. Two jurors later admitted that they read the article.
The clemency petition also said jurors were not told that Joseph went on a crime rampage in part because he was on crack cocaine and had a brain injury "triggering immature judgment and violent reaction to stress."
Gilmore, in denying clemency, said Joseph robbed Anderson to get drug money. He noted that the case had been upheld on multiple appeals.
Joseph was the 12th person put to death in Virginia this year and the 71st since the Supreme Court allowed the death penalty to resume in 1976.
CAPTION: Jason Matthew Joseph, 27, was convicted in the 1992 robbery and murder of Jeffrey Anderson, 22.