TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The murderer of a local couple closely tied to the Ottumwa, Oskaloosa and Pella communities was executed by the federal goverment Thursday evening.

Christopher Vialva, 40, was pronounced dead at 5:46 p.m. central time at Indiana’s Terre Haute federal prison. He was executed by the federal government Sept. 24 for the 1999 double murder of Todd and Stacie Bagley.

According to a statement from the Department of Justice, family members and loved ones of the victims attended the execution as witnesses.

Todd Bagley, 26, was from Ottumwa and worked at Bos Landen Athletic Club in Pella. He and his wife, Stacie Bagley, 28, were youth ministers at Jubilee Family Church in Oskaloosa.

On June 21, 1999, when Vialva was 19-years-old, he and Brandon Bernard, Christopher Lewis, Tony Sparks and Terry Brown kidnapped the Bagleys as they were using a payphone in Killeen, Texas. According to case documents, the Bagley’s were visiting relatives in the area to attend a church revival.

Lewis and Sparks approached Todd Bagley, who agreed to give Vialva and two others a ride, according to case documents. The couple was then held at gunpoint and forced into the trunk, where Vialva drove around for several hours, stopping at ATMs to withdraw cash and attempting to pawn Stacie Bagley’s wedding ring.

After driving around for several hours, Vialva, Bernard, Lewis and Brown drove to an isolated area in the Belton Lake Recreation Area on the Fort Hood military reservation. According to case documents, the car was doused in gasoline before Vialva shot Todd and Stacie Bagley in the head with a .40 caliber gun. Then, Bernard set the on fire.

According to case documents, Stacie Bagley was still alive when the car was set on fire and died from smoke inhalation.

Vialva and Bernard were tried, found guilty of first-degree murder, carjacking and conspiracy to commit murder, and sentenced to death. Vialva is the first Black inmate to be scheduled to be executed since the federal government resumed the death penalty this year, according to the Des Moines Register.

Emily Hawk can be reached at 641-672-2581 or by email at ehawk@oskyherald.com.

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