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Ohio Supreme Court rejects killer's bid to delay execution
September 7, 2017 / 10:46 PM / 2 months ago

Ohio Supreme Court rejects killer's bid to delay execution

(Reuters) - The Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday denied a request by death row inmate Gary Otte to delay his scheduled execution next week so he could pursue appeals.

Ohio death row inmate Gary Otte, who has been incarcerated at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution in Chillicothe, Ohio, U.S. is shown in this undated photo. Courtesy Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction/Handout via REUTERS

Otte, 45, convicted for two home-invasion robbery killings in 1992 in a Cleveland suburb, is scheduled to be put to death on Sept. 13. The court did not explain its decision.

Otte was found guilty of murder after he shot 61-year-old Robert Wasikowski in the head from less than two feet away and stole $413, according to court documents.

The next day, Otto returned to the same apartment complex and shot 45-year-old Sharon Kostura in the head before stealing $45, her car keys and a checkbook, documents show.

Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich already rejected a clemency request. Otte’s federal public defenders could not be reached Thursday.

In July, Ohio put to death a 43-year-old Ronald Phillips, convicted of raping and killing a three-year-old child, in what was the state’s first execution in more than three years after a lengthy legal dispute over the choice of lethal injection drugs.

Ohio in 2015 implemented a moratorium on executions due to the difficulty in obtaining lethal injection drugs. The following year, the state said it would restart executions using a new drug protocol.

A federal court ruled in January that Ohio’s new lethal injection process was problematic, delaying executions. A three-judge panel from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction in April, but that ruling was overturned in June by the full court.

Reporting by Chris Kenning; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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