The Latest: State says Ohio execution protocols followed


LUCASVILLE, Ohio — The Latest on execution of a condemned Ohio killer (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

A spokeswoman for Ohio’s prison system says the state followed proper security protocols when a lawyer witnessing an execution tried to leave the witness room.

JoEllen Smith, of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, says once attorney Carol Wright’s intention and identity were confirmed she was allowed to leave.

Smith said Wednesday’s execution of condemned killer Gary Otte (OH’-tee) was carried out in accordance with prison policy and without complication.

Wright tried unsuccessfully to leave the witness room to alert a federal judge there appeared to be problems. Wright says she believes the rising and falling of Otte’s chest indicated he was suffering a phenomenon known as air hunger.

Wright says she believe mistakes were made. She reached the judge overseeing Otte’s case, but it was too late.

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12:10 p.m.

A federal public defender who witnessed the execution of a condemned Ohio killer of two says she thinks mistakes were made.

Defense attorney Carol Wright tried unsuccessfully to leave the witness room to alert a federal judge there appeared to be problems. Wright says she believes the rising and falling of Gary Otte’s (OH’-teez) chest indicated he was suffering a phenomenon known as air hunger.

His stomach rose and fell several times, resumed after a consciousness check by guards at 10:42, then appeared to fall still a couple minutes later. The time of death was 10:54 a.m.

Wright eventually reached the federal judge overseeing Otte’s case, but it was too late.

Otte, 45, had unsuccessfully argued Ohio’s lethal-injection method put him at risk of suffering serious pain.

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11:35 a.m.

An Ohio killer of two people sang a Christian hymn and quoted the Bible in the minutes before his death.

The last words of Gary Otte (OH’-tee) were derived from a Bible account of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. He said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they’re doing. Amen.”

He earlier professed his love for his family, said he was sorry and sighed deeply, then began singing “The Greatest Thing,” with such words as “I want to know you Lord.”

His singing stopped at 10:39, before he gave a thumbs-up sign. His stomach rose and fell several times, resumed after a consciousness check by guards at 10:42, then appeared to fall still a couple minutes later. The time of death for the 45-year-old Otte was 10:54 a.m.

Relatives of his two 1992 victims were among…



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