Teresa Lewis Appeared Fearful as She Entered Virginia's Death Chamber

Her last words were an apology to the daughter of the man she had killed.

ByABC News
September 23, 2010, 11:21 AM

Sept. 24, 2010 -- Teresa Lewis spent her last days praying and singing hymns, but she appeared frightened and tense as she entered Virginia's death chamber.

Lewis, 41, died by injection at 9:13 p.m. Thursday at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Va., according to The Associated Press.

Lewis' final words were a message for the daughter of the husband she had killed.

"I just want Kathy to know that I love her, and I'm very sorry," she said.

Her death brought an end to the debate over whether Lewis deserved to die, with supporters saying she was borderline mentally retarded, despite the prosecution's claim that she was the mastermind of her husband's and stepson's murders.

Her attorney, James Rocap III, said Lewis was peaceful before going to her death and had been praying and singing in the days leading up to her execution.

"We thought that we were supposed to be helping her, while she was actually helping us," Rocap said.

But when Lewis entered the death chamber to be strapped onto a guerney and injected with the lethal cocktail of drugs, her jaw was visibly clenched. She looked around tensely and appeared frightened, witnesses reported.

In the chamber with her were 14 corrections officers who assisted her onto the guerney and secured her to it with heavy leather straps.

Moments before her execution, Lewis asked if her husband's daughter -- her stepdaughter -- was near. She was. Kathy Clifton was in an adjacent witness room blocked from the inmate's view by a two-way mirror. Lewis then gave her final words of farewell to her.

As the drugs flowed into her body, her feet bobbed but she otherwise remained motionless. A guard tapped her lightly on the shoulder, reassuringly, as she slipped into death.