In United States’ first execution in 2022, Donald Grant, who killed two hotel workers during a robbery in 2001, was executed by lethal injection in Oklahoma on Thursday. It was the third execution in Oklahoma since the state resumed lethal injections in October 2020, after a nearly seven-year hiatus.
Grant killed two workers at a LaQuinta Inn in Del City during a robbery in 2001. The 46-year-old confessed to committing the robbery to bail his girlfriend out of jail. He said he killed manager Brenda McElyea and front desk clerk Suzette Smith so that they couldn’t identify him.
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Grant received a lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester and was declared dead at 10:16 am.
“Yo, God, I got this,” he said while lying strapped to the gurney, delivering his disjointed last words for two minutes. “No medication. I didn’t take nothing. Brooklyn for life.”
Grant at one point began chanting unintelligibly and despite being told his two minutes to deliver his last words had ended, he continued to speak to the witnesses who attended the execution on his behalf.
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A couple of minutes later, his eyelids began to droop and he appeared to be sleeping. A doctor, who entered the room to conduct a consciousness check, could be heard snoring as a prison official declared him unconscious at 10.09 p.m. He appeared to stop breathing about two minutes later.
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Shirl Pilcher, McElyea’s sister, said her family felt that justice had been served.
“Although Donald Grant’s execution does not bring Brenda back, it allows us all to finally move forward knowing justice was served,” Pilcher said after witnessing his execution.
With inputs from The Associated Press