OHIO – EXECUTION – Brett Hartman 11/13/2012 EXECUTED 10.34 a.m

 Brett Hartman

November 13, 2012 http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Today, he calmly accepted his death.

‘I’m good, let’s roll,’ he said in his final words.

He then smiled in the direction of his sister and repeatedly gave her, a friend and his attorney a ‘thumbs up’ with his left hand.

‘This is not going to defeat me,’ Hartman then said to warden Donald Morgan, who didn’t respond.

The effect of the single dose of pentobarbital did not seem as immediate as in other executions at the state prison in Lucasville, in southern Ohio.

Four minutes after Hartman first appeared to be reacting to it as his abdomen began to rise and fall, his abdomen rose and fell again, he coughed and his head shifted rhythmically for a few moments.

His sister, Diane Morretti, dabbed at her eyes during the process. The warden declared Hartman’s time of death as 10:34am.

Both Hartman’s attorney, David Stebbins, and prisons system spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said the gap between Hartman’s movements was not out of the ordinary.

Hartman claimed he did not kill Snipes, but found mutilated body and panicked, trying to clean up the mess before calling 911. It was a claim rejected by numerous courts over the years.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied a last-minute appeal by Hartman yesterday.

Hartman’s last meal, which in Ohio is called a special meal, consisted of steak with sauteed mushrooms, fried shrimp, Macaroni & Cheese, a baked potato with butter and sour cream, Rainforest Crunch cereal, cans of Pepsi and Dr Pepper, and a bowl of Honey-Comb cereal, a prison spokesman told MailOnline.

Hartman is the 49th inmate put to death since Ohio resumed executions in 1999.

Murdered: Ms Snipes had been stabbed 138 times. Her throat had been cut and her hands were cut off in the gruesome murder in her home  Ms Snipes

November 10, 2012 http://www.ohio.com

Three years ago, the condemned killer from Akron came within a week of being executed by the state of Ohio. Just last year, he came within three weeks of being executed.

While prosecutors continue to block his efforts for additional DNA testing, only the U.S. Supreme Court stands between Hartmann and his execution Tuesday in Lucasville. Hartmann contends he is innocent of the brutal slaying of Highland Square resident Winda Snipes in 1997 and his attorneys plan to continue his fight for testing of evidence until the final hours.

Prosecutors have long argued that Hartmann, 38, has already been granted his wish with additional DNA testing that only confirmed the “clear and convincing evidence of his guilt.” They say the 11th-hour appeals by Hartmann are only designed to delay his death.

Hartmann’s attorneys, Michael Benza and David Stebbins, say the courts have failed to take the testing further and examine key pieces of evidence.

Prosecutors originally sent many of the items to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the state’s forensic crime lab, but the evidence has either never been tested or never revealed, Benza said.

The items include bloody fingerprint on an electric clock in which the cord was cut and used to kill Snipes. There is also a bloody fingerprint on a chair.

The defense wants the untested prints compared to Hartmann as well as Snipes’ ex-boyfriend. They’ve been seeking the tests for years, but the state will not cooperate.

“If Brett’s not a match to the bloody fingerprints, then that’s pretty good evidence that someone other than Brett committed this crime,” Benza said.

Some fingerprints that were apparently tested, he said, were never linked to Hartmann. Other items were sent for testing. What those items were, however, were never disclosed to defense attorneys, he said.

“That’s what I find really most disturbing,” Benza said. “The prosecutors wanted it tested at trial, yet we get no answers from anybody on why there were not tested.”

Details of slaying

Snipes, 46, was found dead in her South Highland Avenue apartment. Her body was bound at the ankles, her torso stabbed more than 130 times, her neck slashed and her hands severed and missing.

Hartmann, who had a casual sexual relationship with Snipes, contends he had been with her about 14 hours earlier during a sexual encounter, but did not kill her.

It was Hartmann, then 23, who reported finding Snipes’ body. He told police he went to her apartment, discovered her mutilated body and panicked, fearing police would pin the murder on him. He cleaned up evidence of his previous visit — cigarette butts, beer cans and his T-shirt, which he said was left behind in his haste to leave Snipes after their sexual encounter.

About two hours after finding the body, Hartmann said, he made a series of 911 calls in an attempt to report Snipes’ death anonymously. He was later arrested when his bloody shirt and a watch belonging to Snipes were found in his bedroom. His semen was also found in Snipes’ body.

Years later, a federal judge ordered additional DNA testing from Snipes’ body. The DNA was linked to Hartmann. But defense attorneys counter that Hartmann had already acknowledged having sex with Snipes before her death. They want specific evidence tested before the execution goes forward.

Clock evidence

The clock has been an intriguing untested item since the slaying in September 1997. It was found inside Snipes’ apartment stopped at 4:40. The cord was cut and used to strangle Snipes, who had been seen alive at 4:30 p.m.

Defense attorneys believe the clock stopped around the time of the murder. Phone records suggest Hartmann was at his home at 4:50 p.m.

In past appeals, defense attorneys say a former jail inmate lied at Hartmann’s original trial and the ex-con’s attorney, Tom Adgate, would confirm it — if he was granted immunity from attorney-client privacy violations.

They also allege that Snipes had an abusive boyfriend with a violent history who was never fully investigated by Akron police, lacked an alibi and likely saw Hartmann and Snipes together just before the killing.

Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh declined to comment Friday through a spokeswoman, preferring to wait until after Tuesday’s scheduled execution. In 2009, a federal appellate court granted a stay a week before Hartmann was to die. In 2011, an unofficial moratorium by Gov. John Kasich sparred Hartmann for another year.

Walsh and state attorneys have consistently maintained Hartmann’s guilt and say he has already had his chance at DNA testing.

The Supreme Court, Benza said, has granted three stays of execution in the past month to grant evidence testing to condemned inmates

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