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Virginia killer is executed after asking for forgiveness

Tony Mackall went to his execution with an apology and a plea for forgiveness from the family of the gas station cashier he murdered in 1986.

Mackall, 33, was strapped to a gurney Tuesday night and executed by injection at the Greensville Correctional Center as members of Mary Elizabeth Dahn's family watched."I know it is a hard thing to grow up without a mother, and I ask you to forgive me," Mackall said in a strong voice moments before lethal chemicals flowed into his body. "I know it is a hard thing to do, but I can only ask."

The family watched in a room separate from the booth where press and official witnesses sit. Department of Corrections spokesman Jim Jones declined to say which of Dahn's family attended.

Dahn, 31, was the cashier at the Woodbridge gas station in December 1986 when Mackall showed up, demanded money and shot her in the head. Her husband Stephen and two young daughters, April and Julie, were decorating the station for the holidays.

After killing Dahn and taking $515, Mackall drove to a nearby development and shot a man twice in the head while trying to steal his car. The man, Michael Keating, survived and testified against Mackall, who also apologized to Keating in his final statement.

Mackall was sentenced to death in December 1987. His lawyers began appealing in 1988, arguing that he suffered severe head trauma during a troubled childhood, had low intelligence and received poor legal help.