CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Ohio on Wednesday executed a 49-year-old farm hand who murdered a teenage boy after the man was caught stealing money from the youth’s farmhouse in 1985.
Mark Wiles was put to death by lethal injection at 10:42 a.m. local time at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. He is the 14th person executed in the United States this year.
He was sentenced to die for the August 7, 1985, murder of 15-year-old Mark Klima, a top student who aspired to be a doctor. Wiles stabbed the boy 24 times with a kitchen knife, according to an official clemency report.
Wiles worked at the Klima family’s horse farm in Rootstown in northern Ohio and had been stealing from the family for some time. At the time of the murder, Klima was the only one home, and Wiles was not supposed to be at the residence.
A panel of three judges convicted Wiles the following year, not persuaded by a doctor’s testimony that Wiles had suffered a head injury 12 days before the murder that may have affected his impulse control.
At his clemency hearing last month, Wiles said he “was not sure he was worthy of clemency.” It was denied.
The execution was allowed to proceed after U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost lifted an order that had postponed two previously scheduled executions this year.
On April 4, Frost denied Wiles’ motion to delay his execution, ruling the state had fixed problems with its death penalty protocols.
Prison spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said Wiles requested for his final meal the night before the execution a pepperoni pizza, a bag of cheese puffs, strawberries, a salad with ranch dressing, cheesecake, and a vanilla wafer.
Ohio has executed 47 people since the state resumed executions in 1999.
There were 43 executions in the United States in 2011.
Reporting By Kim Palmer; Editing by Mary Wisniewski