A Cuyahoga Falls man convicted of strangling his 67 yr old neighbor for booze money will live for at least another week. Ohio Governor Ted Strickland Monday, delayed the execution of Lawrence Reynolds Jr. until March 16th. Reynolds, who murdered his life long neighbor Loretta Mae Foster in 1994, was scheduled to die by lethal injection Tuesday.
The inmate apparently tried to kill himself Sunday. He was found unconscious inside his cell. Prison officials said Reynolds managed to take some pills despite being under a death watch, which includes frequent monitoring. A prison spokesperson stopped short of calling the incident a suicide attempt. She did say an investigation is ongoing into the type of pills found and how Reynolds obtained them. She did not say whether the pills were prescribed.
“Unbelievable. Shock. Disappointment. Just frustrating is the word, I guess,” said Gail Hand in an interview with the Akron Beacon Journal. Hand, one of Foster's granddaughters, “We're Completely frustrated with the system, with [ Reynolds], everything. We just want this chapter to end and move on.”
Reynolds has been challenging Ohio's new lethal injection procedure, which uses a one-drug system instead of three drugs. His attorneys filed an appeal Monday with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to postpone the execution.
Ohio has switched from a three-drug process, which opponents said could cause severe pain, to the one-drug system. Reynolds lost a bid to have the execution delayed so he could challenge the new system. Governor Strickland also denied Reynolds request for clemency Monday.
Reynolds condition has been upgraded from serious to stable at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown. He is also said to be nearing consciousness.
In a strange twist, Doctors are working to make Reynolds well again, just in time for the state to kill him next week.
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