crimesider

Jeffrey Landrigan Execution: "Boomer Sooner" Last Words Before Ariz. Executes Inmate

Jeffrey Landrigan (CBS/KPHO)
Jeffrey Landrigan Execution: "Boomer Sooner" Last Words Before Ariz. Executes Inmate
Jeffrey Landrigan (CBS/KPHO)

FLORENCE, Ariz. (CBS/KPHO/AP) After more than 20 years of appeals, reprieve requests and stays, doctors at the Arizona State Prison in Florence pronounced convicted killer Jeffery Landrigan dead at 10:26 p.m. Tuesday after he was executed by lethal injection.

"Well, I'd like to say thank you to my family for being here and all my friends, and Boomer Sooner," he said, in an apparent reference to the University of Oklahoma fight song.

Oklahoma was Landrigan's home state.

Just a few hours before, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 to lift the stay that was preventing Arizona from executing him.

According to CBS affiliate KPHO, Landrigan had been on death row since his 1990 conviction for murdering Chester Dyer of Phoenix in a 1989 killing that prosecutors said was part of a robbery.

When curtains were opened at the start of the execution, Landrigan looked through a window at witnesses in an adjacent viewing room and appeared to use one arm to gesture in recognition of those he'd invited. They included relatives, a friend and two of his lawyers.

Throughout the execution, which took about 10 minutes from the start of administration of the drugs, whimpers and exhales could be heard from the screened-off area occupied by those witnesses.

Monday, a federal judge in Arizona blocked the execution because the state obtained the drug from a previously unidentified overseas source after a shortage that began in the United States in the spring began slowing executions.

The judge questioned whether the drug might be unsafe.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in a ruling early Tuesday, but the nation's high court reversed that decision.

"There is no evidence in the record to suggest that the drug obtained from a foreign source is unsafe," the unsigned order said. "Speculation cannot substitute for evidence that the use of the drug is 'sure or very likely to cause serious illness and needless suffering."'

Arizona said Tuesday that it got its sodium thiopental from Great Britain, the first time a state has acknowledged obtaining the drug from outside the United States.

The execution of Landrigan was the first in Arizona since 2007.

His last meal was steak, fried okra, French fries, strawberry ice cream and Dr Pepper.