The Edmond Sun

May 1, 2014

Family decries botched execution

Michelle Charles
Special to The Sun

STILLWATER — The family of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett is asking for an investigation into what went wrong during his execution Tuesday at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

The lethal injection procedure was stopped after about 20 minutes when Lockett appeared to remain conscious and he died from a heart attack shortly after 7 p.m.

A Noble County jury sentenced Lockett to death in 2000 for the 1999 murder of 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman of Perry.

He and two accomplices kidnapped Nieman and two others during a home invasion robbery. After driving the victims to a rural area near Tonkawa, the men shot Neiman twice and buried her in a shallow grave.

His aunt Sharmetrice Lewis of Stillwater said the family didn’t attend the execution at Lockett’s request but held a vigil at home.

“We expected it to be over by 6:15,” she said. “Then they came on at 7:00 and said something had gone wrong.”

Lewis said Lockett’s worst fear came true.

“He had just made peace with it,” she said. “His main concern was that the drug not malfunction.”

The family feels the execution moved forward because of political pressure even though the drug mixture hadn’t been tested prior, she said.

“They did test it,” she said. “They tested it on him.”