Oklahoma inmate's body returned without heart

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Oklahoma inmate's body returned without heart
In its first lethal injection since botching the execution of Clayton Lockett last year, Oklahoma executed convicted killer Charles Warner on Thursday night, after the Supreme Court denied his last minute stay of execution request.
Jerry Massie, spokesman for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, announces the time of death of inmate Charles Warner to the media at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla., Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. Warner was executed for killing a baby in 1997, in the state's first lethal injection since a botched one last spring. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 photo, the gurney in the the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary is pictured in McAlester, Okla. Oklahoma plans to resume executions Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, after botching its last one and will use the same three-drug method as a Florida lethal injection scheduled for the same day. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Media witness Sean Murphy, right, of the Associated Press, gives a report of the execution of Charles Warner to the rest of the media in McAlester, Okla, following the execution, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. Looking on from left are the other four media witness, Parker Perry, Tess Maune, Abby Broiles and Morgan Chesky. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
FILE - This June 29, 2011 photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows Charles Warner. Warner is scheduled to be executed Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 for the 1997 killing of his roommate's 11-month-old daughter. (AP Photo/Oklahoma Department of Corrections, File)
In this Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 photo, Scott Crow of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, points out the opening where the lines of drugs being administered to the inmate come into the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Brittnie Hackler, right, warden's assistant at Jackie Brannon Correction Center, draws a name from those media wishing to witness the execution of Charles Warner at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. Holding the basket is Jerry Massie, spokesman for the Department of Corrections. At left is Terri Watkins, director of communications for the Department of Corrections. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Media witness Sean Murphy, right, of the Associated Press, gives a report of the execution of Charles Warner to the rest of the media in McAlester, Okla, following the execution, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. With Murphy are, from left, the other four media witness, Parker Perry, Tess Maune, Abby Broiles and Morgan Chesky. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
FILE - This July 25, 2014 file photo shows bottles of the sedative midazolam at a hospital pharmacy in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma plans to resume executions Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, after botching its last one and will use the same three-drug method as a Florida lethal injection scheduled for the same day. The drug mixture begins with the sedative midazolam and includes the same drugs used in Oklahoma’s botched execution of Clayton Lockett, who writhed on the gurney and moaned after he’d been declared unconscious. (AP Photo/File)
FILE - This June 29, 2011 file photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, shows Clayton Lockett. The botched execution of Lockett, and the gruesome details of him writhing and moaning before dying of a heart attack, has outraged death penalty opponents, raised the potential of more court challenges and received international attention. (AP Photo/Oklahoma Department of Corrections, File)
A news van arrives at the front gate of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary for the scheduled execution of Charles Warner in McAlester, Okla, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. Warner is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. Central Standard Time for the murder and rape of 11-month old Adriana Waller in 1997 in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
This Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 photo shows the viewing area in the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla. Behind the mirrored glass at left is where the viewing area for victim's witness are seated. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
This Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 photo shows equipment that monitors the breathing and heart rate of the inmate in the chemical room of the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Regina VanBlaricom, left, procedures officer and acting warren's assistant, uses a hand-held metal detector to check a media witness, right, before the witnesses are taken to the viewing area of the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, for the execution of Charles Warner in McAlester, Okla, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
File - This Oct. 9, 2014 file photo, shows an arm restraint on the gurney in the the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla. Attorneys for 21 death row inmates who will be in a federal court this week challenging Oklahoma's lethal injection procedure outlined their strategy in court documents that reveal grisly new details in the botched execution of an inmate in April, 2014. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Jerry Massie, spokesman for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, announces the time of death of inmate Charles Warner to the media at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla., Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. Warner was executed for the murder and rape of 11-month old Adriana Waller in 1997 in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
FILE - In this April 30, 2014 file photo, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, front, issues a statement to the media on the Execution of Clayton Lockett as Oklahoma Secretary of Safety and Security Michael C. Thompson, back, listens from the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City. The botched execution of Lockett, and the gruesome details of him writhing and moaning before dying of a heart attack, has outraged death penalty opponents, raised the potential of more court challenges and received international attention. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams, File)
Dr. Jonathan Weisbuch holds up a copy of the American Medical Association policy on physicians and capital punishment at his home on Friday, May 2, 2014, in Phoenix. Dr. Weisbuch has weighed in on the botched lethal injection in Oklahoma of inmate Clayton Lockett, right, saying any doctors involved in the execution "have an ethical and moral responsibility to remain as far from the execution chamber as possible." (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Robert Patton, director of Oklahoma's prisons, speaks during a Board of Corrections meeting in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 1, 2014. Oklahoma prison officials tried for 51 minutes to find a vein in a death row inmate's arms and feet before inserting an IV through the man's groin ahead of a botched execution this week, the state's prisons chief said Thursday in a report urging more oversight of executions. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Robert Patton, director of Oklahoma's prisons, speaks during a Board of Corrections meeting in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 1, 2014. Oklahoma prison officials tried for 51 minutes to find a vein in a death row inmate's arms and feet before inserting an IV through the man's groin ahead of a botched execution this week, the state's prisons chief said Thursday in a report urging more oversight of executions. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
One of the attorneys for Charles Warner, who was scheduled to be executed after Clayton Lockett Tuesday night, Lanita Henricksen issues a statement to the media as State Senator Connie Johnson, right, listens about the possible execution of her client from the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Lockett apparently died of a massive heart attack during his botched execution. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
Brady Henderson, left, of the ACLU and attorney David Slane, right, issues a statement on the Oklahoma Death Penalty from the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Lockett apparently died of a massive heart attack during his botched execution. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
Attorney David Slane, left, speaks to the media on the execution of Clayton Lockett as State Senator Connie Johnson, right, listens from the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Lockett apparently died of a massive heart attack during his botched execution. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
One of the attorneys for Charles Warner, who was scheduled to be executed after Clayton Lockett Tuesday night, Lanita Henricksen issues a statement to the media on the possible execution of her client from the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Lockett apparently died of a massive heart attack during his botched execution. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
Oklahoma State Senator Connie Johnson, left, and House of Represenatives Seneca Scott, right, issues a statement on the Execution of Clayton Lockett and the Oklahoma death penalty from the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Lockett apparently died of a massive heart attack during his botched execution. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, front, issues a statement to the media on the Execution of Clayton Lockett as Oklahoma Secretary of Safety and Security Michael C. Thompson, back, listens from the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Lockett apparently died of a massive heart attack during his botched execution. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
White House press secretary Jay Carney gestures as he answers questions during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Carney was asked several questions about the botched execution of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this April 17, 2014, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks at the White House in Washington. Obama says the botched execution of an Oklahoma inmate highlights significant problems with the death penalty, and he's asking the attorney general for a review. Obama says he found inmate Clayton Lockett's execution on April 29 "deeply troubling." Lockett convulsed violently during the execution and tried to lift his head after a doctor declared him unconscious. He later died of an apparent heart attack. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The body of an Oklahoma inmate who died after a botched execution of what corrections officials have said was an apparent heart attack was returned from an independent autopsy without the heart or larynx, a state medical official said Monday.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office, which is conducting an independent autopsy on the body of inmate Clayton Lockett, retained the body parts, a practice that is not uncommon, said Amy Elliott, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office.

"Oklahoma law reads that the Office of the State Medical Examiner can retain any kind of tissue or samples indefinitely," Elliott said. "And my understanding is it can be the same in Texas."

Dallas County officials did not immediately return messages Monday.

David Autry, Lockett's attorney, said a private doctor is working to complete a second autopsy and has asked Dallas County to preserve all evidence in the case, including the heart and larynx.

"I assume they retained those for additional testing, but we've asked them to preserve all the evidence," Autry said.

Lockett's body has been returned to his family and cremated, Autry said.

Lockett died after his April 29 execution was halted when prison officials noted the lethal injection drugs weren't being administered properly. The doctor inside the death chamber reported a single IV in Lockett's groin became dislodged and the lethal drugs went into his tissue or leaked out of his body.

Oklahoma was using a new three-drug method for the first time, and Lockett writhed on the gurney, gritted his teeth and attempted to lift his head several times before the state's prison director halted the execution. Lockett died anyway, about 43 minutes from what prison officials have said was an apparent heart attack.

Gov. Mary Fallin has ordered an investigation into Lockett's death, and the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has issued a six-month stay of execution for a second inmate who was scheduled to die on the same night as Lockett.

The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office will release the official cause and manner of Lockett's death after it receives the results of the autopsy from Dallas County, Elliott said.

Lockett, a four-time felon, was convicted of shooting 19-year-old Stephanie Nieman with a sawed-off shotgun and watching as two accomplices buried her alive in rural Kay County in 1999 after Nieman and a friend arrived at a home the men were robbing.
Read Full Story

People are Reading

The Latest from our Partners
1 - 3 of 15