- Associated Press - Thursday, April 27, 2017

VARNER, Ark. (AP) - The Latest on Arkansas’ effort to execute a fourth inmate before its supply of a lethal injection drug expires on Sunday (all times local):

12:45 a.m.

An attorney for the fourth Arkansas inmate executed in eight days says accounts of the lethal injection are “horrifying.”

Shawn Nolan was one of Kenneth Williams‘ attorneys who’d filed multiple requests to stop the Thursday night execution. One challenge argued that Williams had medical issues that could make his lethal injection painful.

Nolan said in a statement that he’s requesting “a full investigation into tonight’s problematic execution.”

An Associated Press reporter who witnessed Williams‘ execution said the inmate lurched and convulsed 20 times before he died.

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12:25 a.m.

A spokesman for Arkansas’ governor says repeated movements by an inmate executed by the state Thursday night were an “involuntary muscular reaction” to one of the drugs used.

Spokesman J.R. Davis says he expects Gov. Asa Hutchinson to review Thursday’s lethal injection of Kenneth Williams but said the governor is confident in how state’s fourth execution in eight days was carried out.

Davis stood by his previous description of the state’s recent executions as “flawless.”

An Associated Press reporter who witnessed Williams‘ execution said the inmate lurched and convulsed 20 times before he died.

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11:50 p.m.

An Arkansas inmate executed for the 1999 killing of a former deputy warden following an escape lurched 20 times on the gurney before three lethal drugs took his life.

Kenneth Williams was executed Thursday night. Witnesses in the chamber, including an Associated Press reporter, described Williams‘ movements as “lurching, convulsing, coughing and jerking.”

Williams on Thursday night became the fourth inmate that Arkansas has executed in eight days.

In a final statement before he was put to death, Williams apologized to the families he “senselessly wronged and deprived of their loved ones.”

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11:35 p.m.

In a final statement before he was put to death, condemned Arkansas inmate Kenneth Williams apologized to the families he “senselessly wronged and deprived of their loved ones.”

Williams on Thursday night became the fourth inmate that Arkansas has executed in eight days.

Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves said Williams first read from a written statement in which he sought forgiveness and thanked the family of a man he had killed in a vehicle accident for paying for his daughter and granddaughter to visit him this week.

Williams then declared “I am not the same person I was” and proceeded to speak in what he said was his “native tongue.”

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11:15 p.m.

A prison spokesman says condemned inmate Kenneth Williams shook for approximately 10 seconds about three minutes after his lethal injection began Thursday night.

Williams was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m., becoming the fourth inmate that Arkansas has executed in eight days.

Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves did not provide any details about the shaking. Media witnesses have not yet returned from the death chamber.

The state has now wrapped up an accelerated schedule of lethal injections that was set to beat the expiration date of one of the drugs.

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11 p.m.

Arkansas has wrapped up an aggressive execution schedule, putting to death its fourth inmate in eight days.

Thirty-eight-year-old Kenneth Williams received a lethal injection Thursday night at the Cummins Unit prison at Varner for killing a former deputy warden after he escaped from prison in 1999. At the time of his escape in a 500-gallon barrel of hog slop, Williams was serving a life term for killing a college cheerleader.

The state had planned to put eight men to death before its supply of the sedative midazolam expires on Sunday. At that pace, Arkansas would have executed inmates at the quickest rate since the U.S. Supreme Court reauthorized the death penalty in 1976.

Courts issued stays for four of the men who were scheduled to die.

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10:15 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court says it won’t stop Arkansas from executing Kenneth Williams, rejecting claims that the inmate is intellectually disabled and ineligible for the death penalty.

Williams‘ execution is set for Thursday night. He would be the fourth inmate put to death by Arkansas in the past eight days in a compressed schedule because one of the state’s lethal drugs expires Sunday.

Williams was sentenced to death for the killing of a former deputy warden after Williams escaped from prison in 1999. Williams was being held for the death of a college cheerleader when he escaped in a 500-gallon barrel of hog slop.

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10 p.m.

A spokesman says Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is consulting with the state’s attorney general to determine the state’s next moves as it awaits a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on a condemned inmate’s last appeals.

The death warrant for Kenneth Williams expires at midnight, and he has several legal challenges pending with the high court.

Hutchinson’s spokesman J.R. Davis says the governor planned to speak with Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to discuss their “next steps” regarding Williams‘ execution. There are no current stays in place.

Arkansas has executed three inmates in the past eight days in a schedule that Hutchinson set because one of the state’s lethal drugs expires at the end of the month.

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8 p.m.

Arkansas’ attorney general is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the execution of inmate Kenneth Williams to go forward.

In filings before the court Thursday night, Arkansas’ attorney general’s office is arguing that Williams‘ conviction and death sentence have been thoroughly reviewed by courts. Williams was sentenced to death for the 1999 killing of Cecil Boren, whom Williams fatally shot after escaping from prison.

Williams‘ attorneys are arguing that Williams is intellectually disabled and ineligible for the death penalty. They’ve also raised concerns about juror misconduct in Williams‘ trial and over the two executions that Arkansas conducted earlier this week.

Williams was originally set to die at 7 p.m. Thursday but the state is awaiting word from the high court before moving forward. His death warrant expires at midnight.

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6:40 p.m.

A federal judge has rejected an inmate’s request for a last-minute stay to stop his execution.

U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall rejected inmate Kenneth Williams‘ claims that the relatives of one of his victims were never notified of his clemency application.

Marshall said that state law only required notification to the relatives of the person whose killing led to Williams‘ death sentence - in this case, the family of Cecil Boren, whom Williams killed in 1999.

Williams still has requests pending at the U.S. Supreme Court. His execution is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, but a spokesman for Gov. Asa Hutchinson says the state won’t proceed with the execution until the high court weighs in.

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6:15 p.m.

A condemned Arkansas inmate has filed a last-minute request to stop his execution, saying that relatives of one of his victims were never notified of his clemency application.

Kenneth Williams is scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Thursday. In a filing before a federal judge in Little Rock, Williams‘ attorneys said they “only recently learned” that relatives of Michael Greenwood would have supported clemency had they been notified of his hearing last month.

Greenwood was killed in a traffic wreck with Williams, who was on the run after escaping prison and killing a man, Cecil Boren.

Greenwood’s daughter sent a letter to Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday asking him to stop the execution.

Arkansas’ attorney general’s office said in a court response that Williams was only trying to delay his death sentence, knowing that one of the state’s lethal drugs expires Sunday.

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5:45 p.m.

A prison spokesman says an Arkansas inmate scheduled to be the fourth executed in a week opted to receive communion instead of a traditional last meal.

Kenneth Williams is scheduled for execution at 7 p.m. Thursday unless a court steps in.

Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves says that Williams received communion from his spiritual adviser. Williams was also served a regular prison meal that included fried chicken, beans, rice, corn, tomatoes, cinnamon rolls, two cookies, four slices of bread and punch.

Last week, condemned inmate Ledell Lee also chose to receive communion instead of a last meal.

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5:15 p.m.

A federal appeals panel says it won’t stop Thursday night’s execution of Arkansas inmate Kenneth Williams.

The three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected several requests from Williams, who is scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. Thursday. Williams‘ attorneys had argued that Williams is intellectually disabled and ineligible for execution, and that there was misconduct and bias among the jury in his trial.

The panel rejected those claims and denied Williams‘ request for an execution stay.

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3:20 p.m.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected two requests to stop the scheduled execution of Kenneth Williams.

The court denied requests for execution stays for Williams, who is set to be put to death at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Williams still has several other legal challenges pending in multiple courts. His attorneys have said he’s intellectually disabled and that he has medical conditions that could make his execution painful.

Williams‘ attorneys are also questioning whether two inmates put to death earlier this week suffered during their executions.

If executed, Williams would be the fourth inmate put to death in Arkansas over the past eight days.

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1:35 p.m.

An Arkansas inmate scheduled to die by lethal injection Thursday night is asking the nation’s highest court to halt his execution.

Attorneys for Kenneth Williams on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the condemned killer’s execution. The filing claims Arkansas did not provide Williams a forum to litigate his claim that he is intellectually disabled and ineligible to be executed. The filing is among several appeals Williams‘ attorneys have filed aimed at halting his execution.

Arkansas has executed three inmates during the past week under a plan that originally called for putting eight men to death over an 11-day period. The executions were scheduled to take place before one of the state’s lethal injection drugs expires Sunday.

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12:20 p.m.

The family of a man killed by an Arkansas inmate set for execution is hoping Gov. Asa Hutchinson will put his lethal injection on hold.

Lawyers for Kenneth Williams say the family of Michael Greenwood would ask the Arkansas Parole Board to recommend clemency. Williams is scheduled to die Thursday night for killing a different man after breaking out of prison.

Greenwood died when his delivery truck collided with a truck Williams was driving in southern Missouri during his getaway. His family says it has endured considerable pain but that Williams‘ death would cause additional suffering.

There was no immediate word from the governor’s office on whether Hutchinson had seen the letter.

Williams‘ execution would be the fourth in Arkansas in eight days. The state had intended to put eight men to death before a lethal injection drug expires at midnight Sunday.

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11 a.m.

An Arkansas death row inmate is arguing that a double execution this week was flawed and raises concerns he could suffer an exceptionally painful death.

Kenneth Williams is scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Thursday for the killing of a former deputy prison warden following an escape. Williams broke out less than three weeks into a life term for killing a college cheerleader.

If Williams is put to death, it would be the fourth execution for Arkansas since April 20. The state initially planned to execute eight men in 11 days because an execution drug expires Sunday.

During a Monday execution, Jack Jones Jr.’s mouth moved several times when he should have been unconscious. Williams‘ lawyers pointed to that execution in a filing Thursday with the Arkansas Supreme Court.

They say their client has medical issues that could cause problems during the execution.

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8:40 a.m.

An Arkansas inmate’s fight to avoid lethal injection is advancing on two fronts just hours before his scheduled execution.

Lawyers filed paperwork Thursday saying they want the Arkansas Supreme Court to review a decision rejecting a hearing on whether Kenneth Williams is intellectually disabled, which would make him ineligible for execution. Previously, they asked the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a similar question.

Williams is scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Thursday for the killing of a former deputy prison warden following an escape. Williams broke out less than three weeks into a life term for killing a college cheerleader.

If Williams is put to death, it would be the fourth execution for Arkansas since April 20. The state initially planned to execute eight men in 11 days because a key execution drug expires at the end of the month.

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7:50 a.m.

Few options remain for an Arkansas death row inmate scheduled for a lethal injection Thursday night.

Kenneth Williams would be the fourth man executed in Arkansas in eight days. The state initially wanted to put eight men to death in an 11-day period before one of its execution drugs expires at midnight Sunday, but four inmates won stays.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected Williams‘ claim his jurors didn’t consider mitigating factors. In the county where Williams was convicted, a judge refused to hear claims Williams was intellectually disabled. The Lincoln County Circuit Court said jurors considered that during Williams‘ sentencing phase.

Separately, a Little Rock federal judge refused to reopen a 2007 case in which she rejected Williams‘ effort to have his conviction and death sentence tossed out. Williams‘ lawyers have asked a St. Louis-based appeals court to review that Thursday.

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12:15 a.m.

Arkansas is reaching the end of its aggressive execution schedule.

Kenneth Williams is scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Thursday for the death of a former deputy warden killed after Williams escaped from prison in 1999. Williams was being held for the death of a college cheerleader when he escaped in a 500-gallon barrel of hog slop.

Williams would be the fourth inmate to die in Arkansas’ execution chamber in a week. Initially, Arkansas wanted eight men executed before one of its execution drugs expires Sunday. Courts issued stays for four of the inmates.

State officials declared the previous three executions a success. The inmates’ lawyers say there are still flaws in the system and that it’s difficult to tell whether the inmates are suffering cruel punishment as they die.

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