Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Parma murderer executed for 1992 back-to-back killings

Parma murderer executed for 1992 back-to-back killings

Otte was convicted of shooting Robert Wasikowski, 61, on February 12, 1992, and Sharon Kostura, 45, the following day.

Otte arrived at the state death house in southern OH on Tuesday morning, prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said.

Authorities typically transport inmates from death row in Chillicothe (chihl-ih-KAHTH'-ee) to the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville 24 hours before an execution.

In his final statement, Otte professed his love for his family and said: "God is good all the time". Both slayings took place in Parma, in suburban Cleveland.

Otte's appeal for a stay on the grounds it was unconstitutional to execute inmates younger than 21 at the time of their crimes was denied by the Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday morning.

After Gary Otte apologized to relatives of his victims and sang the religious song "The Greatest Thing", he uttered his last words, a line attributed to Jesus Christ during his crucifixion: "Father, forgive them for they know not what they're doing".

Otte will be housed in a cell near the death chamber for the rest of Tuesday and early Wednesday. The three talked, prayed, laughed and held hands, with his parents crying at the end, she said.

His final meal Tuesday was a mushroom Swiss burger, a quart of Heath ice cream and a slice of banana cream pie.

Otte unsuccessfully challenged the use of the first drug in Ohio's lethal-injection procedure, a sedative called midazolam, which was involved in problematic executions in Arizona and Oklahoma.

"While other states move away from the cruel and irrevocably broken capital punishment system, OH is shamefully backsliding by resuming executions", said Kristina Roth, senior program officer at Amnesty International USA.

Midazolam also has been used in executions without discernible problems, including the execution of Ronald Phillips in OH in July. The following year, the state said it would restart executions using a new three-drug protocol.

A message was left with Cuyahoga County prosecutors, who are expected to oppose the request.

Federal public defender Vicki Werneke said Monday that no appeal would be filed.

Wright said the stomach movements were abnormal and evidence that Otte was struggling to get air.

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