US state executes inmate for 1978 killing
Florence(Arizona): Arizona today executed the oldest person on its death row, nearly 35 years after he was charged with murdering a man during a robbery.
The execution of 71-year-old Edward Harold Schad Jr. Came about two hours after the US Supreme Court denied his final appeals.
At about 10 am, the warden read Schad`s execution warrant and asked him if he had anything to say.
Schad responded: "Well, after 34 years I`m free to fly away home. Thank you, warden. Those are my last words."
He then lay quietly and looked at the ceiling as he was given a lethal dose of pentobarbital through IV needles in both arms. He was pronounced dead at 10:12 am.
Schad was sentenced to death for killing Lorimer "Leroy" Grove, whose body was found Aug. 9, 1978, in underbrush off the shoulder of a highway. A sash-like cord used to strangle Grove was still knotted around his neck.
Schad was arrested several weeks later in Utah while driving Grove`s Cadillac. Authorities say he had driven the car across the country, used Grove`s credit cards and forged a check from Grove`s bank account.
At the time, Schad was on parole for second-degree murder in the 1968 strangulation death of a male sex partner in Utah. His lawyers in that case said the death was an accident.
Schad was convicted in Grove`s death in 1979 and again in 1985 after the previous conviction was thrown out. The conviction was upheld by the state Supreme Court in 1989 but later became tied up in a series of federal court appeals.
The US Supreme Court in June lifted a stay put in place by an appeals court, ordering the court to issue the execution authorization.
Schad always maintained he didn`t kill Grove but told the state`s clemency board at a hearing last week that he has accepted his fate.
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