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The Latest: Killer sings hymn before death by execution

By The Associated Press
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LUCASVILLE, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on execution of a contemned Ohio killer (all times local):

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 the witnesses.

___

10:59 a.m.

Ohio has executed a man convicted of killing two people in back-to-back robberies in suburban Cleveland in 1992.

Death row inmate Gary Otte (OH'-tee) was put to death Wednesday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.

The time of death for the 45-year-old Otte was 10:54 a.m.

His legal avenues for halting the execution closed just hours earlier, when the Ohio Supreme Court refused to halt it or consider his appeal that he shouldn't be executed because of his age at the time of the killings.

The execution was the second this year. Ohio put to death a condemned child killer in July.

Otte was sentenced to die for the Feb. 12, 1992, killing of Robert Wasikowski (wah-sih-KOW'-skee) and the Feb. 13, 1992, killing of Sharon Kostura.

___

8:55 a.m.

The Ohio Supreme Court says it won't hear an appeal from a condemned killer who argues he shouldn't be put to death because of his age at the time of the crime.

The court declined to halt a scheduled 10 a.m. Wednesday execution in a decision released about two hours before.

Lawyers for death row inmate Gary Otte (OH'-tee) wanted the court to apply the ruling of a Kentucky court last month that found the death penalty unconstitutional for people who were under 21 at the time their crimes were committed.

Otte was 20 when he killed Robert Wasikowski (wah-sih-KOW'-skee) and Sharon Kostura in Parma, in suburban Cleveland, in 1992.

The state decision ended his legal options, because the U.S. Supreme Court already denied his attempt to delay execution.

___

8 a.m.

A condemned Ohio killer awaiting execution has spent the past several hours visiting with his parents and talking to friends and family on the phone.

JoEllen Smith, a state prisons department spokeswoman, says death row inmate Gary Otte (OH'-tee) did not sleep overnight ahead of his scheduled Wednesday morning execution for killing two people in back-to-back robberies in 1992.

She says Otte showered early Wednesday, and shortly before 7 a.m. was praying with his parents.

Otte's execution is scheduled for 10 at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.

Smith said checks of his arms Tuesday indicated his veins were capable of accepting the IV used in lethal injection.

The 45-year-old Otte unsuccessfully argued Ohio's lethal-injection method put him at risk of suffering serious pain.

___

12:05 a.m.

Ohio is preparing to execute a man convicted of killing two people in back-to-back robberies in suburban Cleveland in 1992.

Death row inmate Gary Otte (OH'-tee) is sentenced to die for the Feb. 12, 1992, killing of Robert Wasikowski (wah-sih-KOW'-skee) and the Feb. 13, 1992, killing of Sharon Kostura in their apartments.

Otte's execution is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.

The 45-year-old Otte unsuccessfully argued Ohio's lethal-injection method put him at risk of suffering serious pain from two of the three drugs the state uses. The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected his attempt to delay his execution.

The execution would be Ohio's second this year. Ohio put to death a condemned child killer in July

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News
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