HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A 33-yearold Texas man convicted of carjacking and fatally shooting a suburban Dallas stockbroker was put to death Wednesday, becoming the first prisoner in the nation's most active capital punishment state to be executed with a single lethal drug.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials announced last week they were modifying the three-drug execution procedure used since 1982 because the state's supply of one of the drugs - the muscle relaxant pancuronium bromide - has expired. Yokamon Hearn was executed Wednesday evening using a single dose of the sedative pentobarbital, which had been part of the three-drug mixture since last year.
Ohio, Arizona, Idaho and Washington have already adopted a singledrug procedure, and this week Georgia said it would do so, too.
Hearn showed no apparent unusual reaction to the drug as his execution began. He was pronounced dead at 6:37 p.m. about 25 minutes after the lethal dose began flowing.
Asked by the warden if he wanted to make a statement, he said: "I'd like to tell my family that I love y'all and I wish y'all well. I'm ready."
Hearn was condemned for the March 1998 slaying of 23-year-old Frank Meziere. About 3½ hours before Hearn's punishment, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals to halt it. None of the appeals addressed the change in the state's execution drug policy.
Georgette Oden, an assistant Texas attorney general, argued Hearn's latest appeal was improperly filed this week by circumventing lower courts and that it should have been filed years ago.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Hearn became the sixth Texas prisoner executed this year and the 483rd since 1982.
Yokamon Hearn is the first prisoner executed under the state's new single- drug procedure.