Archive: Darrell Devier is executed for murdering, raping preteen girl

Devier, working as a tree-trimmer in rural Bartow County in November 1979, was convicted of raping and choking Mary Frances Stoner, 12, to death after kidnapping her. Stoner's body was found in a wooded area of Floyd County. Her head had been crushed with a large rock. Devier was put to death in May 1995.
Devier, working as a tree-trimmer in rural Bartow County in November 1979, was convicted of raping and choking Mary Frances Stoner, 12, to death after kidnapping her. Stoner's body was found in a wooded area of Floyd County. Her head had been crushed with a large rock. Devier was put to death in May 1995.

Credit: Ga. Dept. of Corrections

Credit: Ga. Dept. of Corrections

(This story was originally published May 17, 1995)

Jackson — Darrell Gene Devier was executed today for the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl.

Devier was the 20th man to die in Georgia’s electric chair since 1983 and the second in little more than a month.

Devier visited with his mother, stepfather and other relatives; his attorney; and a minister until about 9:30 a.m. Warden Gerry Thomas described Devier as appearing “calm and nonchalant,” said Karen Kirk, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Corrections.

More than a dozen relatives or friends of the dead girl’s family gathered at the prison today for the execution. “It’s been way too long,” said Ginger Brown, the victim’s cousin.

Five death penalty opponents protested the execution. “This is murder,” said Bernard DeCook.

Mary Stoner's Adairsville High School yearbook photo (Provided photo)
Mary Stoner's Adairsville High School yearbook photo (Provided photo)

Credit: Provided photo

Credit: Provided photo

About 11:30 a.m., Devier ate two bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches and drank two cartons of milk, a prison spokeswoman said.

While Devier admitted committing the 1979 murder of Mary Frances Stoner, he had three trials, including one that ended in mistrial. He received the death penalty after the second, but the state Supreme Court ordered that he be tried again after a challenge to the grand jury that indicted him.

Devier, 39, came within 20 minutes of being executed on Monday. His execution was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which lifted the stay shortly before noon today, state officials said.

The victim’s parents, Mary and Roy Stoner, and relatives and friends gathered at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center to await word that the sixth-grader’s killer was dead. They planned to wait in the warden's office while the execution was being carried out.

Devier was pronounced dead at 1:28 p.m. at the state prison near Jackson.

Devier’s attorneys contended the state failed to comply with the Open Records Act during his trial. State attorneys said Devier wasn’t diligent enough in seeking the records.

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Darrell Gene Devier was a convicted rapist and murderer executed in 1995. His story was featured on the Netflix show "Mindhunter." The show follows FBI agents as they interview serial killers to better understand future criminals. Devier murdered Mary Frances Stoner, a 12-year-old in Bartow County, in 1979. Her body was found with signs of rape, choking and the head crushed. Devier matched the FBI's suspect profile almost exactly. He confessed and was convicted of rape and murder.

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