MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

May 1, 2014

Inmate's family wants inquiry

STILLWATER — The family of 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 Stephanie Neiman, 19, of Perry.

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

Lockett’s 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 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 proceeded because of political pressure even though the drug mixture hadn’t been tested, she said.

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

Michelle Charles writes for the Stillwater News-Press.

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