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Killer who dropped appeals is executed

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Ohio
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(CourtTV) -- Convicted killer Rocky Barton, who abandoned his appeals, was executed by lethal injection Wednesday morning at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio.

He was pronounced dead at 10:27 a.m.

Barton, 49, had repeatedly said he believed he deserved to die for killing his fourth wife in 2003.

He waived all his appeals. He did not attend his clemency hearing, and told reporters in the days leading up to the execution that he was ready to die.

Barton killed his wife Kimbirli Jo Barton on January 16, 2003, as she returned to the couple's home to retrieve her belongings. He shot her twice while her daughter and Barton's uncle looked on. He then turned the gun on himself, but survived a gunshot wound to the face.

Barton had previously served an eight-year prison sentence for the attempted murder of his second wife.

Kimbirli's daughter, Jamie Reising, who witnessed the killing, and her son, Joseph Reynolds, both attended the execution. Barton's parents, Don and Wilma Barton, and his uncle, Larry Barton, also attended.

Another daughter, Tiffany, did not witness the execution but told reporters afterward, "We will be happy again."

Barton spent time with family members early Wednesday morning, according to a spokesperson with the Ohio corrections department.

During an interview Friday, Barton said the killing was "a spur-of-the-moment thing" after Kimbirli Barton had threatened to leave him.

"It was just anger, and I was hurt ... I couldn't see life without her," Barton told CourtTVnews.com at the Mansfield Correctional Institution, where he was housed until Tuesday.

Barton was the first to be executed using a modified injection procedure. The procedure was adopted after a May 2 execution, when prison staff were unable to find an inmate's vein. The vein they finally used collapsed, delaying the procedure for 90 minutes.

In keeping with the new protocol, Barton was closely examined Tuesday by prison staff to ensure that there were viable veins for the injection.

He had previously joked that he wasn't worried about the procedure. "I got good veins," he told a reporter.

Barton, whose three-year stay on death row was the shortest in modern Ohio history, is the 22nd inmate to be executed in the state since 1999.

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