A federal judge Thursday rejected a last-minute appeal from convicted serial killer Alfredo Prieto to stay his execution scheduled for Thursday night.
Prieto looked calm as he entered the execution chamber at 8:53 p.m. The warden stepped behind the curtain at 9:09 p.m. and shortly afterward officials began administering the drugs.
Due to an issue regarding the supplier of the drugs intended for Prieto’s execution, Federal Judge Anthony Trenga placed a temporary hold on the execution.
Prieto’s main attorney, Robert Lee, complained that he had filed an 11th hour appeal on behalf of his client with the US Supreme Court, but that the execution was carried out before the U.S. highest court could render a decision.
The district attorney’s office argued that further delaying Prieto’s execution and allowing him to “fully indulge his speculations” could prolong the case past the drug’s expiration date, and US District Judge Henry Hudson ruled that prison officials had transported and stored the pentobarbital according to the proper standards.
He had been on death row since 1992 for the rape of a minor in 1990 in California, and in 2010, Prieto was convicted of two capital murders and a rape in 1988 in Virginia.
Prieto’s attorneys – with the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Centre – had filed a lawsuit seeking to temporarily postpone his execution in order to obtain details about the use of compounded pentobarbital that it said the state of recently received from the state of Texas.
“Mr. Prieto was convicted in a fair and impartial trial, and a jury sentenced him to death in accordance with Virginia law”, McAuliffe said in a statement.
The latest on the scheduled execution of a convicted serial killer in Virginia.
“It is time for this to end”, Margaret O’Shea, a lawyer from Attorney General Mark Herring’s office, said Thursday.
Prieto is the first inmate to be executed in in Virginia in almost three years.
Prieto, 49, was pronounced dead at 9:17 p.m. local time at Virginia’s Greensville Correctional Center, the media outlets reported.
Virginia’s lethal injection protocol calls for the use of pentobarbital, a sedative, at the beginning of the execution.
The Supreme Court had earlier in the day declined to grant a stay based on Prieto’s claims that he was intellectually disabled.
This undated photo provided by the Virginia Department of…