Convicted murderer Nicholas Todd Sutton was executed in Tennessee’s electrical chair Thursday evening, marking the fifth time the state has used that methodology of execution since 2018, in accordance with experiences.
Sutton — who was sentenced to dying 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 accordance with the Tennessee Division of Correction.
Witnesses mentioned Sutton regarded ahead to his execution with a solemn expression simply previous to his dying, 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 help as they tried so very laborious 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 good friend John Giant and Charles Almon. Nonetheless, he was sentenced to dying for his involvement within the deadly stabbing of fellow inmate Carl Estep in 1985.
In a press release learn by a Division of Correction official previous to the execution, Giant’s sister Amy Giant Prepare dinner expressed reduction.
“No less than that chapter will likely be over,” she mentioned.
“John was denied the chance to dwell a full life with a household of his personal,” Prepare dinner’s assertion mentioned. “He suffered a horrible and horrific dying, 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 have been points within the trial that put him on dying 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 utility earlier this week, The Tennessean reported. The U.S. Supreme Court docket additionally denied a request for a keep minutes earlier than he was put to dying.
Sutton’s killing spree started when he was 18 and led to investigators recognizing what they labeled the “Sutton signature,” which included putting our bodies wrapped in plastic or sure in chains and weighted with cinder blocks.
He killed his childhood good friend Giant and Almon, a Knoxville contractor earlier than concentrating on his grandmother, who adopted him after a childhood of abuse, neglect and dependancy, the newspaper reported.
Sutton knocked her unconscious with a chunk of firewood, wrapped her in a blanket and trash baggage, 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 prices in his grandmother’s killing, Sutton finally led authorities to Giant’s physique and sentenced him to life in jail. He’d killed Giant, 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 instances at Morgan County Regional Correctional Facility, leading to a jury sentencing him to dying.
Sutton by no means disputed his function in 4 killings, however his legal professionals mentioned a historical past of altruism behind bars and different mitigating components confirmed he deserved mercy, The Tennessean reported.
Insufficient trial illustration had blunted Sutton’s alternatives to keep away from the dying penalty, they defined. They added “pervasive childhood trauma” had warped his mind.
Of their utility, his legal professionals 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 along with his father by 12, his legal professionals wrote, starting a lifelong dependancy, the newspaper reported.
As well as, Sutton’s lawyer’s utility mentioned he had “gone from a life-taker to a life-saver” after turning into sober in jail.
His clemency utility cited accounts from three jail officers who mentioned Sutton stepped in to avoid wasting their lives when he did not must, twice stepping between workers and offended inmates to diffuse doubtlessly deadly conflicts.
The Related Press contributed to this report.