Saturday, October 01, 2005

September 27, 2005

...his white Adidas hightops hanging off the gurney's edge...

Last Meal: Ashworth all of his special meal about 4 p.m. Monday. He ate two cheeseburgers with lettuce and mayonnaise and french fries with ketchup, and drank one Dr. Pepper and one Mountain Dew. He refused breakfast offered to all inmates on Tuesday morning.

The skinny: Ashworth, who said he deserved to die was executed by lethal injection Tuesday for luring a man into an alley in 1996 and beating him to death for $40.

More skinny: Ashworth and the man, who had never met before, had a few drinks and were walking to a bar when Ashworth called him over to an alley and beat him with his fists and a 6-foot board and kicked him. The victim was beaten so badly a deputy coroner said his injuries were consistent with a high-speed traffic accident or plane crash.

After beating the man, Ashworth took about $40 from him and went back to a bar in Newark, about 30 miles east of Columbus. Ashworth told police that the victim, a divorced father of a then-12-year-old girl, came onto him and he freaked out.

Leading up to: Ashworth was not been able to have a final conversation with his parents.

An Ohio prisons spokeswoman says he stayed up through the night trying to call his adoptive parents in Louisiana, but phone lines are still down in that part of the country because of Hurricane Rita.

The parents were unable to travel to Ohio because the hurricane caused them to miss their flight.

Last words: "A life for a life, let it be done and justice will be served," Ashworth said in his final statement after taking a couple of labored breaths.

Ashworth breathed calmly as the execution started, then shook before his breaths became more rapid. Soon the 6-foot-4 Ashworth was motionless, his white Adidas hightops hanging off the gurney's edge.

Factoids: Ashworth was the....

40th murderer executed in U.S. in 2005
984th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
2nd murderer executed in Ohio in 2005
17th murderer executed in Ohio since 1976

The execution attracted about 120 protesters, mostly Roman Catholic high school and college students from the Cleveland area who paid $25 apiece to charter three buses. They set up sandwich boards outside the prison fence Tuesday morning with lists of those executed in Ohio and their pictures.

Meanwhile, inmates at the prison remained locked in their cells early Tuesday after an inmate was attacked and killed Monday.

A spokesperson said Monday's murder of the inmate was unrelated to the execution.

Rex Elam of Hamilton County, serving a sentence of 70 years to life for aggravated murder, robbery, rape, and kidnapping, was murdered by a fellow inmate armed with a shard of glass.

There are 196 men and one woman on Ohio's death row.