OHIO EXECUTES INMATE WHO KILLED NEIGHBOR IN 1994
March 16, 2010: A death row inmate who tried to kill himself last week by overdosing on pills as his legal challenges dried up was executed in Ohio for robbing and strangling his neighbor in 1994.
Lawrence Reynolds Jr., 43, was executed by lethal injection at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility nine days after prison guards found him unconscious in his cell.
Ernie Sanders, a spiritual adviser who met with Reynolds in prison, said Reynolds wanted to die alone, not in the state's death chamber.
"He just didn't want his last act of life to be what he considered to be a sideshow or a circus," Sanders said.
Reynolds became the fourth inmate to die by Ohio's new lethal injection procedure, which uses one drug instead of three. Like the others, his death came quickly.
Reynolds was convicted of killing Loretta Foster, a 67-year-old widow who baby-sat children in her neighborhood and lived three doors down from him in Cuyahoga Falls near Akron.
Prosecutors said Reynolds was an alcoholic who was out of work and needed money for booze. He forced his way into Foster's house, strangled her with rope and left with $40 in cash and a blank check from her purse.
"I came in like a lion and go out like a lamb," Reynolds said in a brief final statement while lying on the gurney.
Addressing two women he didn't identify, he said, "Erin and Emma will forever and always hold the heart of the lion."
Reynolds then addressed other inmates on death row and his unsuccessful legal challenge of Ohio's new execution method.
"To my brothers, I hope they will never have to walk these 15 steps I walked today," he said. "I have tried to bring attention to the futility and flagrantly flawed system we have today. Stop the madness." (Sources: Ap, 16/03/2010)