(Lake St. Louis, MO) -- A St. Louis-area man who raped and strangled his neighbor is dead. Missouri executed Michael Worthington shortly after midnight, Central time Wednesday. Worthington's is the first execution in the nation since last month's Arizona execution that raised questions about the legality of lethal injections. His attorneys appealed to the Supreme Court to stop the execution based on problems with executions in three other states, but failed to receive a stay. Worthington had been on death row since 1998 after pleading guilty to the 1995 murder of Mindy Griffin.