UPDATE: Mark Aaron Brown offered no final statement
LUCASVILLE — Mark Aaron Brown offered no final statement and stared at the ceiling as he was executed Thursday for murdering a Youngstown shop owner in 1994.
Brown offered only a quiet "No" when asked if he had any last words, and he did not make eye contact with either the family members of his victim or his attorney or clergy who witnessed the execution.
He became the 35th inmate put to death since the state resumed executions in 1999. He was the third executed under the state's new single-drug execution protocol.
Brown, 37, was convicted in the 1994 shooting deaths of Isam Salman and Hayder Al-Turk at the Midway Market in Youngstown.
He was transported from the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown to the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville Wednesday morning, then spent most of afternoon and night talking on the phone with friends, his sister, his attorney and two of the mothers of his children, said Julie Walburn, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
One call stretched from 2:14 a.m. until 4:49 a.m.
He had contact visits with his brother, his spiritual adviser and his attorney for several hours Wednesday evening, turning emotional at about 7 p.m. when he received word that Gov. Ted Strickland had denied his request for clemency.
Throughout the evening, he ate a special meal that included a bacon double cheeseburger, onion rings, orange soda and
ice cream. He did not eat breakfast Thursday morning, nor did he touch the T-bone steak, cooked well done, that he requested.
He slept from just before 5 a.m. until 6:20 a.m., when he showered and had cell-front visits with his spiritual adviser and two attorneys. He completed those visits after 8:30 a.m. and turned over his personal belongings to his legal counsel.
The U.S. Supreme Court turned down Brown's appeals just after 9 a.m., delaying the execution by about 20 minutes.
It took less than 10 minutes for prison staff to insert shunts into veins in both of Brown's arms and for the inmate to make the final 17-step walk from his holding cell to the death chamber. It took less than 10 minutes to complete the execution. Brown stared at the ceiling before his eyes closed for the last time. His chest heaved and he appeared to yawn before any discernible movement ceased.
Prior executions were carried out sing a three-drug combination — one drug making the inmate unconscious, followed by a muscle relaxer and a final solution that stopped the heart.
The new process involves only one drug, the sedative used to render inmates unconscious, but in a larger, lethal dose. In cases where suitable veins are not accessible, a backup plan calls for the intramuscular injection of two drugs.
Chester Phillips, spiritual adviser for Brown, and attorney Rachel Troutman witnessed the execution on Brown's behalf.
Seven members of Salman's family were at the prison for the execution, and three witnessed his death: sister Terri
Rasul; brother Walid Salman; and one son, Majdy Salman. His sister held a photograph of the murder victims.
Brown requested that his body be cremated, with his ashes turned over to his sister.