• Home
  • News
  • Entertainment
  • LAD Originals

U OK M8?
Free To Be
Extinct
Citizen Reef

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK

Killer angered victims' family with last words before taking two hours to die in botched execution

Niamh Spence

Published 
| Last updated 

Killer angered victims' family with last words before taking two hours to die in botched execution

Killer Joseph Wood angered the family of his two victims in his final moments before being executed in a prison in Arizona in 2014.

The double murderer took over two hours to die in a 'botched' execution that resulted in a 'cruel and unusual' death. As a result, executions in Arizona were put on hold and only resumed in May this year.

Joseph Wood killed his ex-girlfriend and her father in 1989 and was executed in 2014. Credit: ABC Action News
Joseph Wood killed his ex-girlfriend and her father in 1989 and was executed in 2014. Credit: ABC Action News

Wood was ordered to be killed with lethal injection after being convicted of killing ex-girlfriend Debra Dietz and her father Eugene Dietz. The pair were killed on 7 August 1989, when Wood reportedly walked into the family-owned car body store in Tuscon, Arizona and shot them.

The killing happened shortly after 29-year-old Debbie obtained a restraining order against ex-partner Wood when she ended their five-year relationship amid alleged domestic violence.

Police arriving at the scene shot at Wood, injuring him as he tried to shoot back.

After serving 25 years in prison, Wood was ordered to be executed in July 2014 at Florence State Prison in Arizona. However, his last moments have angered the Dietz family.

He reportedly looked at them and said: "I take comfort knowing today my pain stops, and I said a prayer that on this or any other day you may find peace in all of your hearts, and may God forgive you all."

Richard Brown, Debbie's brother-in-law, said now his family can 'rest in peace'. Credit: Sky News
Richard Brown, Debbie's brother-in-law, said now his family can 'rest in peace'. Credit: Sky News

Wood's final moments were then prolonged, with the lethal injection failing to work in the 10 minutes it's supposed to.

Instead, it took one hour 57 minutes for Wood to eventually die.

He reportedly gasped more than 600 times, with his legal team requesting the execution be stopped. One of his lawyers, Dale Baich, said at the time that the prolonged death could have been prevented, branding it a 'cruel' and 'unusual punishment'.

Notes in legal documents from the incident read: "He has been gasping and snorting for more than an hour. He is still alive."

However, the State Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan insisted Wood would have felt 'no pain' at the end of his life, and added: "Throughout this execution, I conferred and collaborated with our IV team members and was assured unequivocally that the inmate was comatose and never in pain or distress."

The Dietz family told Sky News at the time that what they saw was incomparable to the pain of what their family members had faced at the hands of Wood.

Debbie Dietz's sister Jeanne said the botched execution was 'nothing' compared what happened to her family in 1989. Credit: Sky News
Debbie Dietz's sister Jeanne said the botched execution was 'nothing' compared what happened to her family in 1989. Credit: Sky News

Jeanne Brown, Debbie's sister, said: "What I saw today with him being executed, it is nothing compared to what happened on August 7, 1989.

"What's excruciating is seeing your father lying there in a pool of blood, seeing your sister lying in a pool of blood."

Meanwhile, Debbie's brother-in-law Richard Brown added: "I saw the life go out of my sister-in-law's eyes.You guys are blowing it all out of proportion about these drugs.

"This man, he conducted a horrifying murder, and you worry about the drug and how it affects him. Why don't we give him a bullet? Why don't we give him some Drano? Now my family can rest in peace."

As a result of the 'botched' execution of Wood, the state of Arizona temporarily halted all executions following the Wood incident. Executions were not resumed until May of this year.

Featured Image Credit: Police handout/Sky News

Topics: US News, Crime

Niamh Spence
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

News

Martin Lewis warns university students as changes mean you could be paying double for your education

15 minutes ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Man who spent £19,000 to 'become a wolf' just wants to be free of human relationships

2 days ago