State moves to speed up Reid execution

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The state moved today to speed up the possible execution of Paul Dennis Reid.

The state is seeking to lift a stay of execution, and took the matter to the U-S Supreme Court late this afternoon after hearing nothing from an appeals court.

Reid's execution order is valid until midnight. News media witnesses have been at a Nashville prison since noon today and were ordered to stay there until the execution happens or the order expires.

Witnesses from the families of Reid's seven victims were in contact with prison officials. State officials had planned back-to-back executions this morning of Reid and Sedley Alley.

Alley was put to death shortly after 2:00am CST, after telling his son and his daughter that he loved them and urging them to "stay strong." Alley exhaled twice after the drugs started flowing, but had no other reaction.

He was convicted in the 1985 murder of 19-year-old Suzanne Collins, a Marine at the Millington Naval Air Station, just north of Memphis.

Reid was convicted of killing seven fast-food restaurant workers during three robberies in Nashville and Clarksville.

A federal judge in Nashville granted him a stay yesterday so a hearing could be held to determine if he is mentally competent to abandon his appeals.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)