Inmate dies of heart attack as Oklahoma officials botch execution
MCCALESTER, Okla. — An Oklahoma inmate died Tuesday evening of an apparent heart attack after authorities botched the delivery of drugs and stopped his execution.
Another execution scheduled for the same day was postponed.
Convicted murderer Clayton Lockett was sedated and then given the second and third drugs in the protocol, Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton told reporters.
“There was some concern at that time that the drugs were not having the effect, so the doctor observed the line and determined that the line had blown,” he said.
When asked what he meant by “blown,” Patton said that Lockett’s vein had “exploded.”
“I notified the attorney general’s office, the governor’s office of my intent to stop the execution and requested a stay for 14 days for the second execution scheduled this afternoon,” said Patton, referring to the execution of Charles Warner.
Lockett later suffered what appeared to be a heart attack and died, the director said.
Lockett was convicted in 2000 of a bevy of crimes, including first-degree murder, first-degree rape, kidnapping and robbery in a 1999 home invasion and crime spree that left Stephanie Nieman dead and two people injured.
In 2003, Warner was convicted for the 1997 first-degree rape and murder of his then-girlfriend’s 11-month-old daughter, Adrianna Waller.
The constitutionality of lethal injection drugs and drug cocktails has made headlines since last year, when European manufacturers — including Denmark-based Lundbeck, which manufactures pentobarbital — banned U.S. prisons from using their drugs in executions. Thirty-two states were left to find new drug protocols.