A vein of an Oklahoma inmate "Exploded" in the middle of his execution on Tuesday, resulting in an abrupt halt to the process. Another execution scheduled for the day also had to be called off as authorities tried to figure out what went wrong.
The 38-year-old inmate, Clyton Lockett, died 43 minutes after the first injection was administered to him, of an apparent heart attack, Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton said, according to KFOR.
Several reporters present during the ordeal have shared what they saw during the execution. According to KFOR's reporter Countney Francisco, cited by CNN, the first drug, midazolam administered to Lockett was supposed to render him unconscious. But the inmate was still conscious seven minutes later. About 16 minutes in, he seemingly tried to get up and talk, saying "man" aloud.
Dean Sanderford, Lockett's attorney told CNN that he saw his client's body start "to twitch (and) he mumbled something."
"The convulsion got worse, it looked like his whole upper body was trying to lift off the gurney," he said.
After the incident, Patton told reporters that Lockett, who is convicted of murder, had been sedated and then was given the second and third drugs in protocol.
"There was some concern at that time that the drugs were not having the effect, so the doctor observed the line and determined that the line had blown," he said before elaborating that the vein had actually "exploded."
"I notified the attorney general's office, the governor's office of my intent to stop the execution and requested a stay for 14 days for the second execution scheduled this afternoon," he added.
A Department of corrections spokesman told KPLCtv that the combination of lethal injection drugs used Tuesday has not been used by the prison before.
Lockett had been sentenced to death after being convicted of shooting a 19-year-old woman and watching his friends bury her alive, the news channel reported.