McALESTER, Okla. - A botched execution using a disputed new drug combination left an Oklahoma inmate writhing and clenching his teeth on the gurney on Tuesday, leading prison officials to halt the proceedings before the inmate's eventual death from a heart attack.
Clayton Lockett, 38, was declared unconscious 10 minutes after the first of the state's new three-drug combination was administered. Three minutes later, though, he began breathing heavily, writhing on the gurney, clenching his teeth and straining to lift his head off the pillow.
At 6:37, Lockett sat up and said, "something's wrong." The blinds were closed at 6:39.— Max Resnik (@meresnik) April 30, 2014
Lockett was writhing on the gurney and shaking uncontrollably. After that, an official who was inside the death chamber lowered the blinds, preventing those in the viewing room from seeing what was happening.
At 7:06 Lockett died of a "massive heart attack," according to Patton. Warner's execution stayed for 14 days.— Max Resnik (@meresnik) April 30, 2014
"It was a horrible thing to witness. This was totally botched," said Lockett's attorney, David Autry.
"They should have anticipated possible problems with an untried execution protocol. Obviously the whole thing was gummed up and botched from beginning to end. Halting the execution obviously did Lockett no good," Autry said.
HOW THE BOTCHED EXECUTION PLAYED OUT
6:23 p.m. - The injection process begins. Lockett has heavy, slow blinks, laid still
6:29 p.m. - Consistently closed his eyes
6:30 p.m. - First check of consciousness; still conscious
6:33 p.m. - Doctor declares Lockett is officially unconscious
6:34 p.m. - Lockett started to move his mouth
6:36 p.m. - Lockett began convulsing and mumbling
6:37 p.m. - Lockett sat up and said "something's wrong."
6:39 p.m. - Prison officials lowered the blinds
7:06 p.m. - Lockett dies of massive heart attack
Patton then made a series of phone calls before calling a halt to the execution.
"After conferring with the warden, and unknown how much drugs went into him, it was my decision at that time to stop the execution," Patton told reporters.
The executions of Lockett and Charles Warner previously had been delayed after they challenged the secrecy behind the state's lethal injection protocol. Lockett received a new lethal injection formula that included the sedative midazolam as the first in a three-drug combination.
A four-time felon, Lockett, 38, was convicted of shooting 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman with a sawed-off shotgun and watching as two accomplices buried her alive in rural Kay County in 1999 after Neiman and a friend arrived at a home the men were robbing.
Her family issued a statement after the Lockett's death.
Neiman family statement given after Clayton Lockett's death. pic.twitter.com/Vncgsrj1E1— Max Resnik (@meresnik) April 30, 2014
Warner had been scheduled to be put to death two hours later in the same room and on the same gurney. The 46-year-old was convicted of raping and killing his roommate's 11-month-old daughter in 1997. He has maintained his innocence.
Lockett and Warner had sued the state for refusing to disclose details about the execution drugs, including where Oklahoma obtained them.
The case, filed as a civil matter, placed Oklahoma's two highest courts at odds and prompted calls for the impeachment of state Supreme Court justices after the court last week issued a rare stay of execution. The high court later dissolved its stay and dismissed the inmates' claim that they were entitled to know the source of the drugs.
By then, Gov. Mary Fallin had weighed into the matter by issuing a stay of execution of her own -- a one-week delay in Lockett's execution that resulted in both men being scheduled to die on the same day. Fallin also ordered the Department of Corrections to review the state's execution procedures and determine what happened during the execution of Clayton Lockett.
-- Last Meals --
Warner was served a final meal Tuesday of 20 boneless chicken wings from KFC, potato wedges, cole slaw, two fruit cocktail cups and a 20-ounce soda
Lockett's request of Chateaubriand steak, shrimp, a large baked potato and a whole Kentucky Bourbon pecan pie was denied because it exceeded the $15 limit, and he declined a separate offer from the warden for a dinner from Western Sizzlin', prison officials said.