Iowa murderer to be among first executed as U.S. resumes death penalty

California Department of Corrections; Dustin Honken mugshot

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Iowa man is set for execution early next year, one of the first in the nation, as the U.S. Justice Department reinstates the federal death penalty.

51-year-old Dustin Lee Honken is on death row, convicted of running a drug syndicate and the execution-style killings of two associates, one of them a federal witness against him, as well as one of their girlfriends and her two daughters, ages 10 and six.

"Certainly he committed some heinous crimes." Former Cedar Rapids Gazette Crime Reporter Kristoff Trapp tells 600 WMT Radio host Doug Wagner. "I don't think he admitted anything, I don't think he had any kind of remorse." He said.

Prosecutors in the case say Honken was a likable chemistry whiz in Iowa who later became an evil mastermind.

Trapp had a brief opportunity to interview Honken in-person.

"Not intimidating at all. Smaller guy just sitting there." Trapp says. "Not an overwhelming figure."

Honken is on death row at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. The State of Iowa does not have the death penalty, but Honken was eligible because he was convicted in federal court. He is scheduled for execution on January 14, 2020.

There hasn't been a federal execution in nearly 20 years.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content