The 14th Execution of 2018
Ohio carried out its first execution of the year this morning, using a mixture of three drugs to execute Robert Van Hook for the 1985 murder of a Cincinnati man after the two met at a nightclub, reported WKSU and the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Van Hook broke into sobs before he was put to death July 18, 2018.
"I'm no good," he said from under the straps that held him to the lethal injection table.
He recited a Norse prayer used in a 1999 Antonio Banderas film and sang to himself before going quiet.
He gasped and wheezed briefly after the drug cocktail was injected into his veins, then died.
Van Hook's execution took place 33 years after he stabbed a man to death in a Cincinnati apartment. He nearly disemboweled the 25-year-old victim, David Self, after the two met at a Downtown Cincinnati gay bar.
Van Hook was the first killer from Hamilton County to be executed in seven years.
Along with prison personnel, 10 people and four members of the press traveled to Lucasville to witness the execution.
It was silent in the witness rooms when Van Hook entered the death chamber at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. In a white shirt and black track pants, he glanced at those watching before climbing onto the injection table using a small metal stool.
The Associated Press’s Andrew Welsh-Huggins witnessed the execution of Van Hook, who wished peace to the family of his victim, David Self, and recited a Norse prayer as he was put to death.
“There were no signs of obvious distress," Welsh-Huggins said. "His chest rose and fell rapidly, but it was not the extreme up and down high rising and falling that we have seen in the past. He wheezed several times for about a minute, and he sort of puffed his lips in and out and then he went still.”
Van Hook arrived at Lucasville Tuesday morning and spent much of the day talking to his family, friends and attorneys, according to Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokeswoman JoEllen Smith, who provided a timeline of his final 24 hours.
She said prison officials noted he was in good spirits, sometimes laughing and that his conversations were "upbeat."
One of his many visitors was Joe D'Ambrosio who spent 20 years on death row in Ohio for a 1998 Cuyahoga County homicide. He was freed in 2012 after his case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Van Hook received communion Tuesday night as well.
His final dinner: Three double cheeseburgers, three orders of french fries, a whole strawberry cheesecake with whipped cream, a large vanilla milkshake, and grapefruit juice.
He had a restless night only sleeping for about an hour. He mostly stayed in his bed singing and listening to music.
Wednesday morning, he refused breakfast but asked to finish the leftover cheesecake. He was witnessed performing a Buddhist chant with a friend.
About an hour before he was taken to the death chamber, he appeared to be meditating.To read more CLICK HERE