Court rejects OH killer's age argument as execution nears

Frederick Owens
September 13, 2017

Otte was 20 when he killed Robert Wasikowski and Sharon Kostura in suburban Cleveland.

State Justice William O'Neill dissented on the Ohio Supreme Court decision.

A message was left with Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County prosecutors, who ae expected to oppose the request.

Late Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a last-minute request from Otte to delay the execution.

Otte was with his parents until about 8, with the visit conducted through the bars of his death house cell, Smith said.

An appeals court has rejected arguments from a condemned OH killer facing execution Wednesday that he shouldn't be put to death because of his age at the time of the crime.

The last-ditch request to the Ohio Supreme Court came a few hours after a lower court rejected the appeal.

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In a tweet on the eve of the execution, his attorney, Vickie Werneke, said that while Otte had fought vigorously to stop the state from killing him, he was "at peace".

The court declined to halt a scheduled 10 a.m. Wednesday execution in a decision released about two hours before.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said in an email that "we followed proper security protocol, and once her identity and intention was verified she was given permission to exit the room".

The state argued there was no evidence that Phillips wasn't properly anesthetized during his execution. His final meal included a mushroom and Swiss cheese hamburger, a quart of Heath Bar ice cream and a slice of banana cream pie. Both slayings took place in Parma in suburban Cleveland. The next day, authorities say, Otte forced his way into the apartment of the 45-year-old Kostura in the same building, shot her and stole $45 and her auto keys.

OH is preparing to put a condemned killer to death Wednesday, beginning with moving the inmate to the prison where he will be executed.

Inmates are typically transported to the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility from death row - now housed in Chillicothe - about 24 hours ahead of their execution.

Her statements on what she saw mirror legal arguments she and her team have made that say midazolam does not render inmates deeply unconscious, and its use in executions could lead the state to violate an inmate's constitutional right against feeling severe pain.

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