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Reprieve telephone call comes as Burton Abbott is executed

A stock photograph of a telephone handset


The Governor rang to stay the execution at the same time as the poisoned pellets were released and Burton Abbott was dead by the end of the telephone call.

Abbott, an accounting student at the University of California at Berkeley, was executed for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl, based on the circumstantial evidence that his wife found the girl's purse and her ID in their basement, as well as the fact that her body was found near his country cabin.

His mother believed he was innocent.