A death row inmate who tried to delay his execution by claiming he was allergic to the anesthesia used in the lethal injection was put to death today, right on schedule.
Darryl Durr, 46, was declared dead at 10:36 a.m. ET. Julie Walburn from the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, where the execution took place, said there were no complications and that the execution went smoothly.
A prison official who was present told ABC News that as the process began Durr clenched his fists and grimaced while holding his head up for about 10 seconds, before putting his head down. The official, who declined to be identified, said it wasn't clear whether Durr was in pain or reacting to the moment.
Durr had been convicted of the rape and murder of 16-year-old Angel Vincent in 1988. He is the 37th inmate executed in Lucasville, Ohio's so-called "death house" at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility since 1999 and the fourth person to be executed in Ohio this year.
"Serial rapist Darryl Durr kidnapped, raped, and murdered 16-year-old Angel Vincent. Durr's punishment finally gives justice to the family of the victim for Durr's brutal and unforgivable crimes," Ryan Miday, a spokesman for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason, told ABC News last night.
Mason prosecuted Durr in his 1988 trial and has remained engaged in Durr's subsequent appeals.
Durr attempted last week what was called in reports a "unique" appeal, reportedly the first of its kind, when his defense lawyer Kathleen McGarry told the Ohio District Court Judge Gregory Frost that she found evidence that Durr was allergic to anesthesia after reviewing his 800-page medical history report, court records say.
McGarry said in court documents she wasn't aware of the exact allergy Durr had, but wanted to make sure it didn't include thiopental sodium, the anesthetic Ohio uses in its lethal injection.
"One of the things the Ohio Constitution guarantees is that he has a quick and painless execution," McGarry said to the Associated Press last week.
"If he's going to react to the anesthetic drugs in such a manner that he's going to have a violent reaction, either vomiting or seizures or whatever the spectrum is that could happen, then obviously the execution has problems," she said.
Ohio became the first state last year to switch to a single dose of anesthetic to put inmates to death, rather than the three-drug cocktail used by other states.
A Columbia University Medical Center anesthesiologist filed an e-mail as part of Durr's appeal saying if he did have an allergy to thiopental sodium, it may pose a problem.
"An allergic or other adverse reaction to some component of a general anesthetic might present a serious problem for an execution by lethal injection," the email from Mark Heath said.
McGarry cited other cases involving adverse reactions to execution methods in her appeal. In 1989, Texas death row inmate Stephen McCoy began choking and seizing after receiving lethal injection chemicals causing a witness to faint, according to reports. In 1992 death row prisoner Robyn Lee Parks' muscles in his jaw, neck, and abdomen began to spasm about two minutes after the drugs started to flow during his execution in Oklahoma. However, according to reports, the exact cause for those reactions was undetermined in each case.