Breeze-Courier | Taylorville, IL
weather sponsored by
Hickory Estates of Taylorville

Advanced Search
search sponsored by



home : news : national news free September 19, 2017

9/11/2017 1:38:00 PM
Ohio killer has final execution appeal


Associated Press 

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A condemned killer of two awaited word Monday on his final appeals ahead of his scheduled execution later this week.

Death row prisoner Gary Otte was sentenced to die for the Feb. 12, 1992, killing of Robert Wasikowski and the Feb. 13, 1992, killing of Sharon Kostura. Both slayings took place in Parma, in suburban Cleveland.

The state plans to execute Otte, 45, with a combination of three drugs.

The execution would be the second this year. Ronald Phillips was put to death by lethal injection in July for raping and killing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter in Akron in 1993.

That was the first execution in Ohio since 2014, a delay caused by difficulties in finding drugs to use in capital punishment.

During that January 2014 execution, inmate Dennis McGuire gasped and snorted during the 26 minutes it took him to die, the longest since Ohio resumed capital punishment in 1999.

Ohio abandoned the two-drug procedure it used on McGuire and then searched in vain for months for alternatives. Drugs traditionally used in executions have become harder for states to purchase as drugmakers make them off-limits for capital punishment.

In October, the state announced it had acquired supplies for a new three-drug combination. A secrecy law shields any information about the source of those drugs.

The first drug in McGuire’s execution, a sedative called midazolam, was also used in problematic executions in Arizona and Oklahoma.

But midazolam has also been used in executions without discernible problems, including in Phillips’ July execution.

Otte and other inmates continue to challenge the use of midazolam, saying it may not render prisoners so deeply unconscious that they avoid suffering serious pain when the last two drugs are administered.

Lawyers say observations by an expert witness showed Phillips’ executioners didn’t carry out a “sufficient consciousness check” after midazolam was administered.

A federal judge is expected to rule early this week.

The state argues there was no evidence that Phillips wasn’t properly anesthetized during his execution.

Phillips died about 10 minutes after giving his final statement. He showed no signs of distress. His chin dropped and his belly heaved slightly as the lethal drugs were administered.

In Otte’s criminal case, authorities said he asked to go inside Wasikowski’s apartment to use the phone and then shot the 61-year-old and stole about $400.

The next day, Otte forced his way into Kostura’s apartment in the same building, shot the 45-year-old and then stole $45 and her car keys.


Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at

Anderson Jewelers

Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

If you are looking for the SPEAK OUT submission form, you can find it by clicking here: Speak Out Form

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

NOTE: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address will not be displayed or shared.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Dr Paul The Dentist
Trinity Dodge Fixed

NewsWebPagesOpinionPeopleObituariesAg & BusinessSportsContact Us
Subscriptions | Username & Password Reminder | Change Password | Life

Breeze-Courier & Printing | 212 S Main St. Taylorville, IL 62568 | (217) 824-2233 |

© Copyright 2014 Breeze-Courier & Printing. All Rights Reserved.
Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Breeze-Courier & Printing.

Software © 1998-2017 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved