U.S. News

Indiana executes man who killed cop while drunk

MICHIGAN CITY, Indiana (Reuters) - The state of Indiana on Friday executed a man who killed a police officer after he was arrested for public drunkenness more than 16 years ago.

Michael Lambert, 36, was pronounced dead at 12:29 a.m. CDT (1:29 a.m. EDT, 0529 GMT) after an injection of lethal chemicals, officials at the Indiana State Prison said.

Lambert had lost a series of final court appeals and was denied clemency by both the state parole board and Gov. Mitch Daniels.

He was convicted of killing Gregg Winters, a city policeman in Muncie, Indiana, in December 1990.

Winters took him into custody for public drunkenness. Sitting in the back of Winters’ squad car, Lambert pulled a gun he had concealed and shot the officer, a 32-year-old father of two, five times in the back of his head.

Winters’ brother, Terry Winters, the deputy chief of the Muncie police department, witnessed the execution. Roughly a hundred other police officers held a candlelight vigil outside the prison.

Lambert had been given a kitten while on death row, which he left to his son. The kitten was three months old.

Lambert was offered a meal of his choosing on Wednesday night but declined the offer. He has contended he didn’t know what he was doing when he killed Winters because he was drunk.

He met with a spiritual advisor on Thursday but had no final statement.

His was the 23rd execution in the United States this year, the second in Indiana in 2007 and the 1,080th since the death penalty was restored in the United states in 1976.