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Witness describes Garza execution

Karen Grunden
Karen Grunden  


TERRE HAUTE, Indiana (CNN) -- Journalist Karen Grunden from the Tribune-Star newspaper in Terre Haute, Indiana, was one of the media representatives who witnessed Juan Raul Garza's execution Tuesday. At a news conference afterwards, she described the execution:

"When we walked into the media witness room, the curtains were closed. There are two windows in that room, and a metal bar that comes out from the window area that prevents us from getting up right close to the window. It was a bluish green curtain. It opened at approximately 7:00 a.m. today. We saw Mr. Garza on the gurney. He had a white sheet draped on him, draped down to the floor, to about here. And there was a white sheet on the gurney underneath him, as well. You could see that he was wearing a white T-shirt.

"The warden did walk by our window right after the curtain had opened. And Mr. Garza seemed to look at someone, possibly, in this inmate witness room and give a nod before the drugs were administered, before he gave his final statement. He did look around a little bit, seemed to look at each of the rooms a bit, just to kind of gauge who was there, and was given his opportunity to make the final statement. You've already heard that.

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"The sentencing information was read by Warden Lappin, and it was three counts of intentional killing in a criminal conspiracy, I believe -- something to that effect.

"His hair was graying a bit. He did blink a few times, and this was after the first drug, apparently, had already started. He looked again at the inmate witness room, and as he laid there, his eyes, at the end, did look towards the ceiling, but his head was tilted toward that inmate witness room so that he could kind of look in there.

"He did swallow. His eyes became drowsy. There was not really a point at any time where you could actually say he died. There was no final breath that we noticed at all. Someone had said that his feet had moved. His eyes were still open, but his left eye seemed to droop more closed than the other one.

The time of death, as has been said, was 7:09."


Greta@LAW





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