The Woodward News

Local News

May 1, 2014

McAlester lawmaker not upset by convict's delayed death

By JAMES BEATY

Senior Editor McAlester News-Capital

State Rep. Brian Renegar, D-McAlester, said his thoughts turned to Clayton Lockett’s murder victim when he learned Lockett had died of a heart attack shortly after his formal execution was halted because of problems with the lethal drug injection process.

Lockett was convicted of kidnapping, terrorizing and killing Stephanie Nieman, 19,  in rural Kay County 15 years ago.  Authorities said he shot Nieman twice, then ordered two companions to bury her alive as she pleaded for her life.

“I wonder if she had a heart attack?” said Renegar.  According to the state Attorney General’s Office, Nieman “was still alive and choking on dirt as they buried her.”

McAlester’s other state representative, Democrat Donnie Condit, had a different reaction. He said it was “tragic” that the execution did not go as planned. He said he knows from a visit to the state prison and the death chamber shortly after being elected to office that procedures are in place should something go wrong during an execution.

Robert Patton, director of the state Department of Corrections, said the execution was stopped 20 minutes into the process when Lockett’s vein used for the drug injection collapsed, causing his body to convulse. He was unconscious at the time and died shortly afterwards of a heart attack, said Patton.

Gov. Mary Fallin promptly ordered a 14-day stay for the execution of condemned convict Charles Warner, who was scheduled to be put to death two hours after Lockett.

Lockett’s attorney, David Autry, said he witnessed the execution process until prison officials lowered the blinds to prevent the gallery from watching what was happening in the death chamber.

“It was a horrible thing to witness,” he told the Associated Press. “This was totally botched."

The process involved the intravenous injection of three drugs: midazolam as a sedative to create unconsciousness, vecuronium to relax the muscles, and potassium chloride to stop the heart from beating.  

Text Only
Local News
  • State board votes again to delay education plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that represent public school boards and administrators across Oklahoma.

    July 24, 2014

  • Winners of Cudd Legacy award named

    Three veterans of the oil industry will receive this year's Bobby Joe Cudd Legacy Award during the Tri-State Oil and Gas Convention on Aug. 7 at the Woodward Conference Center.

    July 24, 2014

  • Benefit gun raffles underway

    Woodward Reserve police officers and other Woodward full time officers have come together to support one of their own.

    July 24, 2014

  • Tulsa man looking for military friend

    There are times in everyone's life when you think back and wonder whatever happened to those old friends from your past.

    July 23, 2014

  • Zoning change approved by commission

    Monday night Woodward city commissioners unanimously approved a zoning change that was contested by one local man who was protesting because he wants the neighborhood to continue its residential growth.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tangier Reunion set for Saturday, Sunday

    When Barbara (Allison) Merwin thinks back to the years she spent in the classrooms of Tangier High School, it takes a few moments for her to recall how school life was 60 years ago.

    July 23, 2014

  • Traveler Majors take regional opener

    ALVA - The Traveler Majors continued their strong Connie Mack playoff showing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • County OKs road use agreement

    Woodward County Commissioners on Monday approved a final version of a road use agreement between a energy company planning a wind turbine construction project near southeast Woodward County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Camp to show art is everywhere

    The Woodward Arts Theatre will become a recycling plant next week.

    July 22, 2014

  • Fairview Wrangler Rodeo turns 50 this year

    Western fun continues in Northwest Oklahoma as the Fairview Wrangler’s hosting their 50th annual rodeo.

    July 22, 2014