Ohio executes first prisoner since 2014
LUCASVILLE, Ohio — A convicted child killer was put to death with no apparent complications Wednesday in Ohio’s first execution since one plagued by problems 3½ years ago triggered an uproar over the reliability of the lethal-injection drugs used by the state.
Ronald Phillips, 43, was condemned to die for the 1993 rape and slaying of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter, Sheila Marie Evans.
It was Ohio’s first execution since 2014, when an inmate gasped and snorted repeatedly during a procedure that took an unusually long 26 minutes and involved a never-before-tried drug combination.
Phillips died about 10 minutes after giving his final statement. He showed no signs of distress. His chin dropped and his stomach heaved slightly as the lethal drugs were administered. He was given a three-drug combination never used before in Ohio. The drugs included midazolam, a sedative used in executions in Ohio, Arkansas and Arizona.
Ohio has 26 executions scheduled through 2020, the next on Sept. 13.
Gary Mohr, director of Ohio’s prisons, said before Wednesday’s execution of Ronald Phillips that the state’s lethal injections would be dignified, peaceful and humane.