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Serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells first to be executed with new drug supply

Lawyers for Tommy Lynn Sells, 49, tried to delay the convicted murderer’s lethal injection scheduled for April 3 at Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas by going to the U.S. Supreme Court and demanding that the state of Texas reveal the source of the new drug used to administer lethal injections. The Supreme Court denied that request; and Sells was executed Thursday evening on schedule.

Sells confessed to as many as 70 killings throughout the U.S.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Prisons have come under fire this week for having only expired supplies of pentobarbital available for lethal injections. According to MSN, Sells was the first inmate to be executed by lethal injection from a new batch of the drug recently delivered to the Texas prison.

As the drug began flowing into his arms inside the death chamber in Huntsville, Sells took a few breaths, his eyes closed and he began to snore. After less than a minute, he stopped moving. He was pronounced dead at 6:27 p.m. CDT — 13 minutes after being given the pentobarbital.

In an effort to halt or at least delay Sells’ execution, his lawyers petitioned the court for information regarding the identity of the pharmacy supplying the new batch of pentobarbital, “in order to verify the drug's quality and protect Sells from unconstitutional pain and suffering,” but to no avail.

The father of a 13-year-old girl who Sells stabbed to death in 1999 was present for Sells’ last moments, and felt that his execution was too humane, saying that Sells’ death was "way more gentle than what he gave out."

"Basically, the dude just took a nap," said South Texas dad, Terry Harris.

Sells had stabbed 13-year-old Kaylene Harris 16 times, and slit her throat.

Sells also stabbed and slashed Kaylene’s girlfriend, 10-year-old Krystal Surles, while the two girls were in bed and sleeping at Harris’ home. But Surles survived the brutal attack and identified Sells for authorities.

Sells, a.k.a. Coast to Coast and The Cross Country Killer, admitted to killing as many as 70 individuals across the country, including a 2003 indictment for murdering 13-year-old Stephanie Mahaney in Missouri, and pleading guilty to killing 9-year-old Mary Bea Perez in Texas in 1999 - and an entire family in Illinois in 1987.

Those victims included Ruby Dardeen, who was eight months pregnant. Her fatal beating forced her to prematurely give birth. The newborn was killed along with her 3-year-old sibling.

For more on Tommy Lynn Sells and the U.S. Supreme Court's decision not to reveal the source of the lethal injection drug, see the video accompanying this article.

Also see:

First death sentences handed down in India for rape convictions

Man who beat 2 women with hammer and set them ablaze executed

Man executed for 1989 kidnapping, rape, and murder of 15-year-old girl

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