The Latest: Spokesman says inmate apologized to director
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- The Latest on Arkansas' attempt to carry out the nation's first double execution since 2000 (all times local):
An Arkansas prisons spokesman says the first inmate executed Monday night was speaking to the Arkansas Department of Correction director shortly after his lethal injection began.
Spokesman Solomon Graves says Jack Jones was talking to prisons director Wendy Kelley at the start of his execution, which lasted 14 minutes. Shortly after Jones' execution ended, attorneys for another inmate set to die Monday argued in a court filing that "Jones was moving his lips and gulping for air."
But Graves said it was his understanding that Jones "was apologizing to Director Kelley and thanking her for the way she has treated him since she's been director." The microphone was turned off in the death chamber at this point so any comments were not audible to media witnesses.
An Arkansas inmate who was executed Monday night was taken out of the death chamber temporarily after a judge issued a stay that delayed his execution.
An escort team that included several guards wearing helmets and visors in front of their faces brought Marcel Williams into the death chamber two times - once at 8:04 p.m. and back at 9:29 p.m., moments after a federal judge lifted her stay.
A prison spokesman said Williams was allowed to leave the death chamber during the stay so he could use the restroom.
Williams' execution began at 10:16 p.m. and he was pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m.
The second inmate put to death by Arkansas on Monday night had labored breathing, then grimaced slightly before losing consciousness.
That's according to an Associated Press reporter who witnessed Marcel Williams' execution.
Williams' execution began at 10:16 p.m., about two hours later than planned after a judge issued, then lifted, a temporary stay. He took several deep breaths shortly after the lethal injection began, and his breathing appeared to stop about 8 minutes after the start.
Williams was pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m.
Williams weighed 400 pounds, and his attorneys had argued that his lethal injection could cause excessive pain because of his health.
Arkansas' governor and attorney general say justice has been carried out for the family of a woman who was killed by Marcel Williams more than 20 years ago.
Williams was executed Monday night. He was sentenced to death for the 1994 killing of Stacy Errickson, whom he'd kidnapped and strangled.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson says it's "a serious and reflective time" in Arkansas but that residents should know that justice has been carried out.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, whose office fought back several last-minute appeals, said she's hopeful that Williams' execution brings "much-needed peace" to Errickson's children, who are now adults.
Arkansas has put to death inmate Marcel Williams, marking the first double execution in the United States since 2000.
Williams was pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m. Monday, 17 minutes after the procedure began at the Cummins Unit in southeast Arkansas. Inmate Jack Jones was executed earlier in the evening.