Convicted murderer was hit with Taser leading up to execution, report shows

An Oklahoma Corrections Department report says that before Clayton Lockett’s botched execution, prison officers shocked him with a Taser, found a self-inflicted wound and were forced to put the IV line in his groin.
by Nolan Clay and Rick Green and Graham Lee Brewer Modified: May 1, 2014 at 10:26 pm •  Published: May 1, 2014

At the end of the timeline, Patton makes a recommendation that the stay be made indefinite while an investigation of the execution continues. He also recommends changes to execution protocol.

“The current protocol puts all responsibility and decision-making on the warden at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary,” Patton said. “Those decisions should rest on upper management and ultimately on the director of corrections.”

Warner’s attorney, Madeline Cohen, said no executions should be done in the state until a “truly independent” investigation is conducted.

“Director Patton’s memo adds a gruesome new detail about the extent of how barbaric Mr. Lockett’s execution was, revealing for the first time that the drugs were administered through a vein in Mr. Lockett's groin,” Cohen said.

“Placing such a femoral IV line requires highly specialized medical training and expertise.”

Dean Sanderford, Lockett’s attorney, said putting the line in through the groin “adds a whole other layer of additional risk in addition to the drugs and secrecy that we didn’t even know about until today, plus the fact that they Tased him earlier in the morning.”

He said Lockett was a healthy, muscular, 38-year-old man, so it’s not clear why a vein couldn’t be found in the arms. It is standard to put an intravenous line into each arm.

Sanderford said that since no stitches were needed to close Lockett’s self-inflicted cut, it’s doubtful blood loss would have made his veins inaccessible. He also said that although Lockett refused his last meal, he wasn’t on a hunger strike.

The timeline does not indicate what Lockett used to cut himself.

He has a long history of fashioning weapons while incarcerated in county jail and state prison and was a disruptive inmate, according to a report compiled by the Oklahoma attorney general’s office for the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. Those weapons included saw blades, sharpened wires, shanks made from metal window frames he destroyed, a 3-foot aluminum walking cane sharpened to a point, and an 11-inch plastic knife sharpened to a point.

Disruptive incidents listed included flooding a day room, throwing feces and urine on a correctional officer, and threatening the lives of correctional officers.

A four-time felon, Lockett was convicted of shooting 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman and watching as two accomplices buried her alive in rural Kay County in 1999. Neiman and a friend had interrupted the men as they robbed a home.

Warner had been scheduled to be executed two hours later, in what would have been the first time the state held two executions in one day since 1937. The 46-year-old was convicted of raping and killing his live-in girlfriend’s 11-month-old daughter in 1997.

CONTRIBUTING: Staff Writers Nolan Clay and

Graham Lee Brewer


by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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by Rick Green
Capitol Bureau Chief
Rick Green is the Capitol Bureau Chief of The Oklahoman. A graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., he worked as news editor for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City before joining The Oklahoman.
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by Graham Lee Brewer
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Graham Lee Brewer began his career as a journalist covering Oklahoma's vibrant music scene in 2006. After working as a public radio reporter for KGOU and then Oklahoma Watch he went on to cover the Oklahoma Senate for eCapitol before joining the...
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