Court rejects OH killer's age argument as execution nears

Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville

Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville

The decision means Otte's last appeal involves an argument before a state appeals court that he shouldn't be put to death because at the time of the crime he was only 20.

The state of OH executed Gary Otte this morning, marking the second execution following a three-year hiatus that ended on July 26 with the execution of Ronald R. Phillips. Two members of the state execution team did a consciousness check at 10:42.

A condemned OH killer facing execution has appealed to the state Supreme Court, arguing he shouldn't be put to death because of his age at the time of the crime.

A Cleveland appeals court rejected the age argument Tuesday morning.

A US appeals court in June lifted a preliminary injunction, clearing the way to resume executions. OH put to death a condemned child killer in July.

JoEllen Smith, of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, says once attorney Carol Wright's intention and identity were confirmed she was allowed to leave.

Prison officials said he did not sleep the night before the execution. "While it is too late for Gary Otte and Ronald Phillips, Governor Kasich can stop this regression by commuting all the sentences of those remaining on death row".

Death row prisoner Gary Otte (OH'-tee) was sentenced to die for the February 12, 1992, killing of Robert Wasikowski (wah-sih-KOW'-skee) and the February 13, 1992, killing of Sharon Kostura.

His final meal Tuesday was a mushroom Swiss burger, a quart of Heath ice cream and a slice of banana cream pie.

Witnesses on Wednesday included the daughter and brother of Wasikowski and the sister, brother-in-law and niece of Kostura.

OH is preparing to execute a man convicted of killing two people in back-to-back robberies in suburban Cleveland in 1992. Otte was the second person in OH to be executed by lethal injection this year.

OH is preparing to put a condemned killer to death Wednesday, beginning with moving the inmate to the prison where he will be executed.

Prior difficulties in obtaining the lethal injection drugs resulted in a three-year delay in OH in which no executions had taken place.

Gary Otte (OH'-tee) was sentenced to die for the 1992 killings of Robert Wasikowski (wah-sih-KOW'-skee) and Sharon Kostura.

Otte's argument can't be raised under Ohio law or current federal court rulings, the 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals said.

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