William Emmett LeCroy, 50, was convicted of carjacking in March 2004, which resulted in the death of a jury in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
LeCroy’s attorneys appealed to the US Supreme Court on Tuesday to suspend the execution. In the first order since Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, however, the court rejected the application.
A pool reporter said he was pronounced dead at 9:06 p.m. ET.
According to the US Department of Justice, LeCroy killed Joann Lee Tiesler in 2001 while trying to flee the country.
Tiesler’s father Tom said in a written statement Tuesday that “justice has finally served”
“I regret that it took nineteen years to reach this point, but it brought Joann’s family and friends the necessary closure,” he said.
When a prison officer leaned over him on Tuesday evening, gently removed LeCroy’s mask, and asked if he had any last words for the assembled witnesses, LeCroy replied calmly and matter-of-factly, “Sister Battista will get my final statement in the postal service.” According to the pool reporter.
The pool reported that LeCroy kept his eyes open when the lethal injection was given. His eyelids slowly began to close as his midsection began to rise rapidly uncontrollably for a minute or two. After a few more minutes, the paint ran from his limbs, his face turned ashen, and his lips were tinted blue.
LeCroy told the psychiatrist that the victim put a spell on him
The Justice Department said LeCroy broke into Tiesler’s house while the nurse was away and then “attacked her, cuffed her hands behind her back, strangled her with a power cord and raped her, then slit her throat with a knife and stabbed Tiesler, 30, five times behind “.
According to a petitioner’s pleading filed in 2013, LeCroy’s lawyers hired a psychiatrist to evaluate LeCroy. During the investigation, LeCroy told the psychiatrist, “He believed that Joann Tiesler was the babysitter who sexually abused him twenty years ago and that he blamed the babysitter for many of the problems he had as an adult.
“Because of his belief in witchcraft, the defendant (LeCroy) came to believe that the babysitter had put a spell on him and that he had to force the babysitter (Ms. Tiesler) to reverse the spell.”
LeCroy, paroled after 10 years in state and federal prison for child molestation, legal rape, burglary, and aggravated assault, stole Tiesler’s vehicle and drove to the Canadian border, where he was arrested.
“His conviction and verdict were upheld on appeal, and his security relief requests were denied by every court that examined them,” the press release added.
It was the sixth federal execution since the Justice Department ended a 17-year hiatus in July.
Attorney General William Barr said executions would resume in 2019 under the Trump administration.
“The Justice Department upholds the rule of law – and we owe it to the victims and their families to continue the sentence imposed by our judicial system,” he said.
Under Barr’s direction, the Federal Execution Protocol amendment replaced a procedure that used three drugs with a pentobarbital, according to a press release.
CNN Ariane de Vogue and Christina Carrega contributed to this report.