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

Murderer took two hours to die after horrific final words to victims’ family

Murderer took two hours to die after horrific final words to victims’ family

He was given the death penalty for the brutal killing of his girlfriend and her dad

A convicted killer took more than two hours to die during a botched death row execution.

Double murderer Joseph Wood was convicted of the 1989 murders of his ex-girlfriend Debra Dietz and her father Eugene Dietz.

Wood turned up at the Dietz family-owned body car store in Tucson, Arizona and opened fire - killing them both.

The brutal murders happened shortly after Debbie, 29, had obtained a restraining order against Wood when she ended their five-year relationship amid alleged domestic violence.

When police arrived at the scene, Wood began to shoot and was injured when officers fired back.

Following a trial, Wood was sentenced to death by lethal injection.

He spent 25-years on death row before being executed in July 2014 at Florence State Prison in Arizona.

However, his last moments angered the Dietz family.

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

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."

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."

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

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.

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 incident.

Executions were not resumed until May of 2022.

Featured Image Credit: Police handout/Sky News

Topics: Crime