KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The last time 10-year-old Pamela Butler was seen alive was October 12, 1999, when she was rollerblading in front of her house on South 11th Street.
Keith Nelson has been sitting on death row after admitting he killed the child.
On Monday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule executions for all child killers on death row. With all of his appeals for a new trial exhausted, Nelson is included.
“I will be at peace to watch the person that killed my daughter take his last breath,” Butler’s mother Cherri West said Wednesday of the news she has dreamed of for over two decades.
“I was thrilled because I feel that Pammy’s justice is finally being served,” West said. “But I couldn’t get too excited because you know, I’m sure his attorneys are going to file an appeal for the drug that’s going to be used to put him to death or say that he can’t be put to that because he’s incompetent and don’t understand.”
From the moment she found out her daughter had been taken, West began fighting to find her, by going on TV, passing out fliers and searching for her little girl.
The 10-year-old’s body was found in a wooded area in Grain Valley, Missouri, three days after her kidnapping. Nelson was arrested after police found him hiding out along the river in Kansas City, Kansas.
Nelson later pleaded guilty to several charges including kidnapping and sexual abuse of a child resulting in death after DNA proved he did it.
“Straight off the bat I wanted the death penalty,” West said. “In my view it’s an eye for an eye, you know? He took an innocent little child that had no chance. She had a whole future ahead of her and she didn’t get to live.”
Throughout a two-year court process and 19 years of appeals, Nelson has never apologized nor said why he raped and killed Pamela.
West, who plans on attending Nelson’s execution, believes that since Nelson’s face is the last one her daughter saw before she died, West wants the same for him.
“I wish they would put a picture of Pammy up on the ceiling so that would be his last thought with his eyes closed,” West said. “Burn in hell. Those would be my words to him.”
Keith Nelson is scheduled to be executed on August 28, 2020, at the U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana.