Oklahoma prison guards Tasered a defiant Clayton Lockett early Tuesday, and a medical technician had trouble finding a suitable vein for the lethal drugs that eventually killed him that evening, the head of the Corrections Department reported Thursday.
Lockett also deliberately cut his right arm before dawn Tuesday and was treated at a prison hospital, but the wound did not require stitches.
Corrections Department Director Robert Patton made the disclosures in a timeline provided to Gov. Mary Fallin, who ordered a review of the 38-year-old murderer's botched execution. Lockett writhed, groaned and convulsed as the three-drug cocktail was being administered, and he ultimately died of a heart attack 43 minutes later.
Patton also recommended that the execution of Charles Warner, originally set for two hours after Lockett's but rescheduled for May 13, be postponed indefinitely.
Lockett was sentenced to death for killing 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman in 1999 after she and a friend interrupted a home burglary. After the pair were abducted and beaten, he shot her with a sawed-off shotgun and then watched two accomplices bury her while she was still alive.
Patton's timeline details Lockett's final 14 hours. It begins at 5:06 a.m. CT, when a prison "emergency response team" arrives at his cell to escort him for X-rays, and ends at 7:06 p.m., when his is pronounced dead.
After his self-inflicted wound was discovered, three guards then watched him until he was taken to the execution chamber about 5:20 p.m. CT.
Throughout the day, he refused to be restrained, refused to see his lawyers, refused a final tray of food, refused to make a final statement.
After Lockett was strapped down on the execution table, a phlebotomist spent almost 50 minutes seeking a usable vein in his arms, legs, feet or neck, finally inserting the needle into his groin, which was then covered by a sheet to block the view of witnesses.
The first of the three execution drugs — midazolam, a sedative — began flowing at 6:23 p.m. Ten minutes later, after Lockett is declared unconscious, the executioner administers the final two drugs — vecuronium bromide, a muscle relaxant, and potassium chloride, which stops the heart.
Nearly 20 minutes later, a doctor discovered that the vein had collapsed and that the drugs "had either absorbed into tissue, leaked out or both," the report states. The warden then notified Patton, who was told that not enough drugs had been administered to cause death, that no other vein was usable and that not enough of the chemicals remained to complete the execution.
At 6:56 p.m., Patton halted the execution after a doctor reported that Lockett was unconscious and that he detected a faint heartbeat.
At 7:06 p.m., Lockett was pronounced dead after having a heart attack.
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's office said his body has been sent to Dallas for an independent autopsy.
As a result of the drawn-out death, Patton recommended a complete review and revision of how Oklahoma executes prisoners.
Responsibility and decision-making, which currently rests with the warden of the state penitentiary at McAlestar, should be transferred to upper management of the Corrections Department and its director, Patton told Fallin in his four-page letter.
"I intend to to explore best practices from other states and ensure the Oklahoma protocol adopts proven standards," he wrote.
He estimated it would take "several days or possibly a few weeks" to revise the procedures and train staff before another execution could be carried out.