Convicted murderer Nicholas Todd Sutton was executed in Tennessee’s electrical chair Thursday evening, marking the fifth time the state has used that technique of execution since 2018, in line with experiences.
Sutton — who was sentenced to loss of life in 1986 for killing a fellow inmate a 12 months earlier, after being convicted of three different murders in 1979 — was pronounced lifeless at 7:26 p.m. CST on the Riverbend Most Safety Establishment in Nashville, in line with the Tennessee Division of Correction.
Witnesses mentioned Sutton seemed ahead to his execution with a solemn expression simply previous to his loss of life, The Tennessean of Nashville reported.
“I’m just grateful to be a servant of God, and I’m looking forward to being in his presence. And I thank you,” Sutton reportedly mentioned in his last assertion.
As well as, Sutton thanked his spouse and his household “for his or her love and assist as they tried so very exhausting to avoid wasting my life,” the newspaper reported.
Sutton was initially convicted of killing three individuals in 1979, together with his grandmother Dorothy Sutton, his highschool buddy John Massive and Charles Almon. Nonetheless, he was sentenced to loss of life for his involvement within the deadly stabbing of fellow inmate Carl Estep in 1985.
In an announcement learn by a Division of Correction official previous to the execution, Massive’s sister Amy Massive Cook dinner expressed reduction.
“At the very least that chapter might be over,” she mentioned.
“John was denied the chance to dwell a full life with a household of his personal,” Cook dinner’s assertion mentioned. “He suffered a horrible and horrific loss of life, and for that I’ll by no means forgive Mr. Sutton.”
Sutton was initially scheduled to be executed by the state in 2015, the report mentioned. Nonetheless, authorized delays blocked that date.
Sutton’s attorneys had sought intervention from both the courts or Gov. Invoice Lee to delay or commute the execution. They pointed to what they claimed had been points within the trial that put him on loss of life row in addition to his outstanding transformation in jail, the place correction officers mentioned he had saved a number of lives.
Lee was not swayed and declined Sutton’s clemency software earlier this week, The Tennessean reported. The U.S. Supreme Courtroom additionally denied a request for a keep minutes earlier than he was put to loss of life.
Sutton’s killing spree started when he was 18 and led to investigators recognizing what they labeled the “Sutton signature,” which included inserting our bodies wrapped in plastic or certain in chains and weighted with cinder blocks.
He killed his childhood buddy Massive and Almon, a Knoxville contractor earlier than focusing on his grandmother, who adopted him after a childhood of abuse, neglect and habit, the newspaper reported.
Sutton knocked her unconscious with a chunk of firewood, wrapped her in a blanket and trash luggage, chained her to a cinder block and threw her alive into the Nolichucky River in Hamblen County. An post-mortem discovered she drowned within the icy waters.
Following his conviction on first-degree homicide expenses in his grandmother’s killing, Sutton ultimately led authorities to Massive’s physique and sentenced him to life in jail. He’d killed Massive, 19, on a visit to Mount Sterling, N.C., and buried his physique in a shallow grave on property that belonged to Sutton’s aunt.
On Jan. 5, 1985, Sutton helped stab Carl Isaac Estep, a convicted baby rapist from Knoxville, greater than three dozen occasions at Morgan County Regional Correctional Facility, leading to a jury sentencing him to loss of life.
Sutton by no means disputed his function in 4 killings, however his attorneys mentioned a historical past of altruism behind bars and different mitigating elements confirmed he deserved mercy, The Tennessean reported.
Insufficient trial illustration had blunted Sutton’s alternatives to keep away from the loss of life penalty, they defined. They added “pervasive childhood trauma” had warped his mind.
Of their software, his attorneys mentioned his father “was a violent, abusive and unstable man who suffered from extreme psychological sickness, struggled with substance abuse and was repeatedly institutionalized.”
Sutton began taking illicit medication together with his father by 12, his attorneys wrote, starting a lifelong habit, the newspaper reported.
As well as, Sutton’s lawyer’s software mentioned he had “gone from a life-taker to a life-saver” after turning into sober in jail.
His clemency software cited accounts from three jail officers who mentioned Sutton stepped in to avoid wasting their lives when he did not must, twice stepping between employees and indignant inmates to diffuse doubtlessly deadly conflicts.
The Related Press contributed to this report.