Edwin Hart Turner Killed by Lethal InjectionBy Daniel Cherry | Published 09 Feb 2012 02:38am |
The man convicted of murdering two people during a 1995 robbery spree is dead. Edwin Hart Turner died by lethal injection last night at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman. MPB's Daniel Cherry witnessed the execution and has this report.
Even until his death, Edwin Hart Turner refused to talk about the murders of which he was convicted. As he lay strapped to the injection gurney he was asked if he had any last words to which he replied flatly...no. Turner wore a red jumpsuit and white sneakers as he awaited the injection.
After Turner's reply, the injection process began. He looked once around the room. Spoke to those around him with a smile before taking a deep breath and falling asleep. Less than 15 minutes later at 6:21pm a coroner pronounced Turner dead.
Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps says Turner's behavior prior to his death helped him dispel any doubts as to Turner's mental capacity to stand execution.
"I was able to ask him, I said, 'Look, did you commit those crimes, those robberies and those killings?' He said,'I don't want to discuss it.' I said, 'Well, do you admit to the crimes?' 'I'm not going to answer that.' That doesn't sound like a mentally ill person to me."
Epps says at one point, Turner asked him, "What are we waiting on?"
A federal appeals court ruled earlier yesterday morning the state could go ahead with the execution. A lower court halted the execution over concerns about Turner's mental capacity at the time he committed the murders. Turner was convicted of killing Eddie Brooks and Everett Curry in 1995. Turner shot both men in the head with a rifle during separate robbery attempts on December 12th 1995. Curry's older brother Roy says Turner's death gives him and his family peace of mind.
"I don't think we will ever have complete closure because a void will always exist in our hearts. At the least, we will have some consolation knowing that the person who committed this cowardly and senseless act is finally gone."
Outside, a small group of protesters gathered before the execution. Sheila O'Flaherty has protested every execution since 1983. She thinks Turner should have been granted a mental evaluation.
"The State of Mississippi is going to execute this man. Is the State of Mississippi so afraid that the defense psychiatrist will come in and say, 'Yes. He has some serious mental deficiencies.' But no. They're just going to execute the man."
Corrections officials say the execution went as planned even in spite of the short notice from the appeals court.
Turner met with friends and family prior to his execution; however, he requested no family be present to witness his death. He allowed his attorney, Lori Bell, which corrections officials say Turner left all his belongings, and his spiritual advisor Tim Murphy to witness his execution.
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