A guy who was convicted of murdering an elderly couple and other crimes 20 years ago before being apprehended by law enforcement in Texas following a manhunt was executed in Oklahoma on Thursday.
At the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Scott James Eizember, 62, received a lethal injection and was pronounced dead at 10:15 a.m.
Eizember, who was restrained on a gurney and had an intravenous line in his left arm, declared, “I’m at peace.” “My conscience is absolutely clear. I cherish my kids.
Eizember, who had a close-cropped beard, could be seen talking with the Rev. Jeffrey Hood, who was also in the execution chamber, once the fatal medicines started to flow. There were 17 people present in the witness room when he lifted his head and mouthed the words “I love you” to his daughter and the attorneys.
At 10:07 a.m., Eizember’s breathing became laborious, and his condition was deemed unconscious. At 10:10 a.m., he appeared to stop breathing. At 10:15 a.m., he was pronounced dead.
A.J. Cantrell, 76, and his wife Patsy Cantrell, 70, were killed on October 18, 2003, and Eizember’s counsel did not dispute this. However, they claimed last month that the deaths were unintentional and spontaneous and that his life still had worth.
The board rejected a clemency recommendation by a margin of 3 to 2.
Every day of his detention, he has felt regret. Other than retaliation, there is no cause to kill him next month, attorney Mark Henricksen told the board.
Following the execution, a number of Cantrell family members spoke about the suffering their family had to undergo and expressed worry about how long it took for Eizember to be put to death.
After experiencing this nightmare, Johnny Melton, the dead couple’s nephew, declared in a statement delivered on behalf of the family, “I must say that 20 years is too long for justice to be served.” “The process is much too slow, but we want to do it correctly and we definitely want to make sure that everyone’s rights are safeguarded.”
In Oklahoma and around the country, Melton emphasized the significance of tackling domestic violence and enhancing mental health care.
“I realize that this is going to be controversial, but I think it’s true. Help is necessary for the abuser. They require it when they are young, according to Melton. “It’s too late by the time the victim needs help.”
When the Cantrells left their house in Depew, Oklahoma, according to the prosecution, Eizember allegedly broke in so he could wait for his ex-girlfriend Kathryn Smith who lived across the street. Prosecutors claim that when the couple unexpectedly arrived home, Eizember shot and killed Patsy Cantrell with a shotgun he found inside the house before using the same weapon to hammer A.J. Cantrell to death.
Eizember was found guilty of first-degree murder and given the death penalty for the murder of A.J. Cantrell. For the murder of Patsy Cantrell, she was found guilty of second-degree murder and given a 150-year prison sentence. Eizember and A.J. Cantrell were allegedly fighting over a shotgun when Patsy Cantrell was shot and killed, according to Eizember’s legal team.
Prosecutors claim that after killing the couple, Eizember crossed the street to Smith’s house, where she shot her son in the back and assaulted Smith’s mother. Both people lived, and according to the investigators, Eizember eventually fled the city in a stolen car.
Police think that while a massive manhunt was being conducted to find Eizember, he spent more than 30 days hiding out in the woods near the communities of Depew and Bristow.
Tessa Henry, an assistant attorney general, told the pardon board that he wasn’t scared to kill again.
Prosecutors claim that Eizember eventually traveled to Arkansas in a stolen automobile and took a doctor and his wife hostage there while holding them at gunpoint. After traveling to Texas with the couple, he was finally apprehended near the town of Lufkin after the doctor shot Eizember four times with a gun hidden in the couple’s van, according to authorities.
In December 2005, a federal jury in Arkansas found Eizember guilty of two charges of kidnapping, one offense of carjacking, and one count of using a weapon during a violent crime. In that case, he received a 25-year federal jail term.
The Department of Corrections turned down the preacher because of Hood’s history of anti-death penalty activism, including arrests, so Eizember filed a last-minute petition to be allowed to have his spiritual adviser present with him inside the death chamber during his execution. The Cantrell family’s worries that the decision would result in Thursday’s execution being postponed caused the DOC to change its mind about that decision on Wednesday.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states must abide by the requests of death row convicts who want their pastors to pray publicly and even touch them as they are put to death.
In Oklahoma, the process for administering lethal injections involves three drugs: midazolam, a sedative that renders the victim unconscious; vecuronium bromide, a paralytic; and potassium chloride, which stops the heart.
Since Oklahoma began executions in 2021, Eizember’s death by lethal injection was the eighth to occur there.
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