Tennessee execution: Billy Ray Irick tortured to death, expert says in new filing

Editor's note: Reporter Dave Boucher was one of seven state-required media witnesses at Irick's execution. 
Billy Ray Irick felt searing pain akin to torture before he died in a Tennessee prison in August, but steps taken in carrying out his execution blocked signs of suffering, according to a doctor who reviewed information about the lethal injection.
In new court filings entered late Thursday amidst an ongoing legal challenge of Tennessee’s lethal injection protocol, Dr. David Lubarsky said statements from people who witnessed the execution indicated the controversial drug midazolam failed to ensure Irick could not feel pain during his death.
As a result, the death row inmate “experienced the feeling of choking, drowning in his own fluids, suffocating, being buried alive, and the burning sensation caused by the injection of the potassium chloride,” Lubarsky wrote in the filing.
The document also says the state did not follow its own lethal injection protocol, raising questio…

Florida Prosecutors Seeking Death Penalty Against Lois Riess

Lois Riess
(ABC 6 News) -- Prosecutors in Florida filed a notice of their intent to seek the death penalty for Lois Riess on Monday.

In early June, Riess was indicted by a grand jury on charges of first-degree murder with a firearm, grand theft of a motor vehicle, grand theft and criminal use of personal identification information of a deceased individual, $5,000 or more.  Riess pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In court documents filed on Monday, the state outlined its reasoning for pursuing the death penalty, writing that Riess killed Pamela Hutchinson in Fort Myers Beach, Florida for "the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest or effecting an escape from custody; that the capital felony was committed for pecuniary gain; that the capital felony was a homicide and was committed in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification."

According to authorities, Riess killed her husband David in late March at their home in Blooming Prairie, From there, law enforcement said she fled to Florida where she befriended Hutchinson.

Hutchinson's body was found on the bathroom floor of a hotel with a towel draped over her. The medical examiner says Hutchinson was, "shot with a small caliber round bearing similar characteristics to a .22 caliber bullet and then draped with a towel.”

Riess is also suspected of killing her husband David. According to court documents, he was killed in the bathroom of their home in Blooming Prairie with a .22 caliber handgun and a blanket was placed over his head. Authorities went as far as to say the modus operandi in both cases were “strikingly similar.” 

Riess was arrested on April 19 in South Padre Island, Texas.

Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose said in late June that prosecutors in Minnesota were awaiting results of forensic evidence before charging her in Minnesota with her husband's death.

Source: kaaltv.com, author, July 2, 2018

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