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Man convicted of murdering 5 children executed in Ohio

By Mark Morgenstein, CNN
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Convicted child murderer executed
  • NEW: William Garner had a huge last supper Monday night, spent time with family Tuesday
  • NEW: The sole survivor and some victims' family members witnessed the execution
  • Ohio executed Garner by lethal injection at 10:38 a.m. ET Tuesday
  • Garner was convicted of killing five children in 1992 after burglarizing, setting home on fire

(CNN) -- William Garner, 37, who was convicted of murdering five children in 1992 in Cincinnati, Ohio, was executed by intravenous lethal injection at 10:38 a.m. Tuesday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio, according to the state's Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

The execution procedures started at 10 a.m., and 20 minutes later, Garner began receiving a lethal dose of sodium thiopental, according to department spokeswoman Julie Walburn.

When the coroner first came in to examine the body, he saw no signs of life but thought he may have heard a faint heartbeat, Walburn said. She said state protocol required the coroner to wait five more minutes, then re-examine Garner. At that point, the coroner declared the inmate was dead.

Lethal injection is the only legal means of execution in Ohio.

Garner declined having a last breakfast Tuesday morning, but had quite a feast for his final "special meal" Monday night. Walburn said Garner downed Porterhouse steak with A1 sauce, onion rings, fried shrimp, barbecue ribs, potato wedges with cheese, sweet potato pie, chocolate ice cream, barbecue wings, salad, Funyuns and Hawaiian punch.

Garner spent his final morning with some loved ones. His sister, niece and mother were allowed to have noncontact cell visits between 6:30 and 8 a.m., Walburn said.

He also received communion from his spiritual adviser before the warden read the death warrant at 9:45 a.m., Walburn said.

Both the Ohio Supreme Court and the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Garner's appeals Monday for a stay of execution.

According to the report prepared for Garner's death penalty clemency hearing, on January 26, 1992, Garner took Addie Mack's address and apartment keys from her purse while Mack was being treated at a local hospital emergency room. Then, he went to Mack's home to, in his words, "take her things," the report said.

Garner admitted stealing a television, a VCR, a telephone and a radio boom box from the apartment while running into one of the six children, ages 8 to 13, who were sleeping in the apartment that night. Then, on Garner's way out, he set fire to the apartment, even though he knew there were children inside, the report said.

The five youngest children died of smoke inhalation. They were Mykkila Mason, 8; Deondra Freeman, 10; Markeca Mason, 11; Richard Gaines, 11; and Denitra Satterwhite, 12.

Thirteen-year-old Rod Mack, Addie's son, was the only survivor. Rod and Addie Mack attended Tuesday's execution, and four of the victims had family members or some sort of representative there, Walburn said.

Garner's public defenders argued at the clemency hearing that his "violent and dysfunctional" upbringing and "limited intellect, with a history of developmental disorders since birth and brain impairment from lead poisoning" should merit a stay of execution. But the courts disagreed.