May 17, 2011 / 4:28 PM / 8 years ago

Ohio man executed Tuesday for 1984 murders

COLUMBUS (Reuters) - An Ohio man was executed on Tuesday morning after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his appeal, officials said.

Daniel Lee Bedford is seen in an undated prison photo. REUTERS/Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

Daniel Lee Bedford was put to death by lethal injection Tuesday morning for a double homicide in Cincinnati in 1984, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. His defense attorneys had argued for clemency, citing dementia and mental retardation.

A federal judge had granted Bedford a stay of execution Monday, but this was lifted by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his final appeal.

Bedford was convicted of shooting to death his ex-girlfriend Gwen Toepfert and her boyfriend John Smith.

Bedford told the state parole board in March that he does not remember the slayings.

Bedford was the 16th person executed in the United States so far this year, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. At 63, he was the oldest person executed in Ohio since the state resumed administering capital punishment in 1999.

For his last meal, Bedford did not request a special meal, but had the regularly scheduled prison meal of an orange, graham crackers, turnip greens, oven-brown potatoes and wheat bread. He received a two-liter bottle of cola as a special request, said Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokesman Carlo LoParo.

Bedford said “love you” to his daughter, Michelle, before his death, and “God bless you” to all witnesses present, LoParo said.

In 2010, 46 people were executed in the United States.

Mississippi also is expected to carry out an execution later on Tuesday.

Writing by Mary Wisniewski; Reporting by Jim Leckrone and Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Greg McCune

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