Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ohio man executed for 1997 murder and mutilation

The 38th Execution of 2012

Brett Hartman was declared dead at 10:34 a.m. November 13, 2012, about 17 minutes after the single powerful dose of pentobarbital began flowing into his veins.  His execution was Ohio's 49th of the modern era, reported The Associated Press.

"I'm good, let's roll," Hartman said after declining a final statement.

He then smiled in the direction of his sister and repeatedly gave her, a friend and his attorney a "thumbs up" with his left hand.

"This is not going to defeat me," Hartman then said to warden Donald Morgan, who didn't respond.

Hartman was sentenced to die for stabbing Winda Snipes of Akron 138 times, slitting her throat and cutting off her hands, reported AP.

The effect of the pentobarbital did not seem as immediate as in other executions at the state prison in Lucasville, in southern Ohio. Four minutes after Hartman first appeared to be reacting to it as his abdomen began to rise and fall, his abdomen rose and fell again, he coughed and his head shifted rhythmically for a few moments.

Hartman, 38, acknowledged that he had sex with Snipes early on the morning of Sept. 9, 1997 at her Akron apartment. He also says he went back to Snipes' apartment later that day, found her mutilated body and panicked, trying to clean up the mess before calling 911.

But Hartman said he didn't kill her, a claim rejected by numerous courts over the years.

Hartman's last meal included steak with sauteed mushrooms, fried shrimp, macaroni and cheese, a baked potato, vanilla ice cream, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper, and cereal with milk, reported UPI.

A former co-worker and friend of Snipes who witnessed the execution said afterward that the family was relieved the case was over and that the continuous rounds of appeals and media reports about the case were at an end. Jacqueline Brown of Doylestown in northeast Ohio also flatly dismissed Hartman's innocence claim, reported AP.

"He's very, very, very guilty," she said afterward. "Now Winda can be at peace, and that's what it's all about."

Stebbins read a statement from Hartman's family in which they professed his innocence and asked for additional testing of scene evidence.

"We hope that the taking of Brett's innocent life might serve as a wake-up call to the flaws in our legal system," the statement said.

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