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Oklahoma executes man who kidnapped, drowned woman

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OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (Reuters) -- Oklahoma executed Tuesday a man who kidnapped a woman and her two children and later drowned the mother in a lake when he realized her family could not meet ransom demands.

Don Wilson Hawkins, 43, died at 6:07 p.m. CDT (2300 GMT), two minutes after being injected with a lethal cocktail of chemicals at the state's death chamber in the eastern Oklahoma city of McAlester, prison officials said.

"I've got peace. The state needs vengeance for the crime I've done," Hawkins said in his last statement, according to prison spokesman Jerry Massie.

"They're going to punish my body, but Jesus has forgiven me," Hawkins reportedly said.

Hawkins was convicted of the 1985 kidnapping and murder of Linda Ann Thompson, who was 29.

Hawkins and co-defendant Dale Shelton kidnapped Thompson at a shopping mall parking lot in Oklahoma City with her two daughters, then aged 18 months and 4 years.

The men stole a few dollars from Thompson and took her bound in chains into a barn, while her children were kept separate in a house.

The day after the three were abducted, the kidnappers decided the family could not pay the ransom. Hawkins and Shelton then dropped the children off at the home of a baby sitter and took Thompson to a lake.

The men had tied up Thompson, and Hawkins drowned her because he thought she would be able to identify them in court, according to court records.

Shelton was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the crime.

Hawkins' last requested meal was a stuffed-crust pizza and a soft drink.

He was the sixth man Oklahoma has executed this year, and the 61st since the state resumed implementing the death penalty in 1990.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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