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

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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…

Utah to seek death penalty for parents charged with killing daughter, covering her in makeup

Miller Costello and Brenda Emile
OGDEN, UTAH — A couple accused of murdering their 3-year-old daughter and trying to conceal her injuries with makeup will face the death penalty if convicted, the state of Utah announced Tuesday.

Miller Costello and Brenda Emile are accused of fatally beating their daughter, Angelino Costello, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

The couple first called 911 in July 2017 to report Angelino was unconscious and not breathing, KSTU reported.

Police said the girl had extensive injuries to her body, including a large burn on her chest and several burns on her hands, legs and feet. It also appeared she had been dead for some time.

Investigators say Emile admitted to officers that she tried to hide the abuse by covering the child in makeup.

Emile told police she tried to hide the injuries so “they didn’t look so bad,” KSTU reported.

Some of the abuse was allegedly recorded on cellphone camera.

Police searched the cellphones of both parents and found videos of Costello and Emile taunting the toddler with food, removing it and then punishing her, asking if she was “evil,” KSTU reported.

Another video allegedly shows Costello using the foot of an infant child to kick their daughter in the face, prosecutors said.

In a hearing in February, Ogden officers testified that the 3-year-old looked like a “Holocaust victim,” with thinning hair, sunken eyes and little to no muscle, KSL reported.

The child appeared to look increasingly worse in the photos while her two other siblings appeared healthy.

Those children have been removed from the home.

Costello and Emile have ties to a gypsy community and have several alternative names and addresses in multiple states, according to KUTV.

Attorneys for Webster County filed a notice in Utah’s Second District Court on Tuesday, stating their intent to seek the death penalty against both Costello and Emile. 

Both are charged with aggravated murder as a capital felony. 

Source: ajc.com, Lauren Padgett, July 11, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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