State prepares to put condemned OH killer of 2 to death

Gary Otte sang a hymn immediately before his execution

Gary Otte sang a hymn immediately before his execution

The prison system announced the time of death for Gary Otte as 10:54 a.m. following the administration of three lethal drugs at the Southern Ohio Correctional Faciltiy in Lucasville. He said: "God is good all the time", and added, "I'm sorry".

The 45-year-old inmate still has a final appeal before the state Supreme Court, arguing he shouldn't be put to death because of his age at the time of the crime. He stopped singing at 10:39.

As of Tuesday morning, an appeals court rejected argments from Otte that he shouldn't be put to death because of his age at the time of the crime.

Proper security protocol was followed and the execution was carried out without complication, prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said.

A federal court is considering Otte's argument that the first drug in the process creates an unconstitutional risk of severe harm.

If Otte's appeals fail, the execution would be Ohio's second in 2017 following a three-year hiatus because of difficulties obtaining the lethal injection drugs used and legal challenges to that mix.

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The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a condemned OH killer's last-minute attempt to delay his execution.

Relatives of his two 1992 victims, killed in separate robberies, were among the witnesses.

Otte was found guilty of murder after he shot 61-year-old Robert Wasikowski in the head from less than 2 feet away and stole $413, according to court documents. His final meal included a mushroom and Swiss cheese hamburger, a quart of Heath Bar ice cream and a slice of banana cream pie. Ministers and a nurse observing the procedure in case of problems planned to witness on Otte's behalf.

Midazolam also has been used in executions without discernible problems, including the execution of Ronald Phillips in OH in July.

A message was left with Otte's attorneys seeking comment.

The state argued there was no evidence that Phillips wasn't properly anesthetized during his execution.

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The next day, Otto returned to the same apartment complex and fatally shot 45-year-old Sharon Kostura in the head before stealing $45, her auto keys and a checkbook, documents showed. The next day, authorities say, Otte forced his way into the apartment of the 45-year-old Kostura in the same building, shot her and stole $45 and her vehicle keys.

Republican Governor John Kasich rejected a clemency request from Otte on September 1.

Federal public defender Vicki Werneke said Monday that no appeal would be filed.

'The current scientific understanding of adolescent development underscores why their moral culpability is reduced making them categorically exempt from the death penalty, ' his attorneys argued.

The Cuyahoga County prosecutor said Otte still wouldn't take full responsibility and tried to blame others, including the victims. Otte is not appealing that decision.

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