Ohio Executes Serial Rapist; Fourth Lethal Injection In State This Year

The serial rapist who maintained his innocence in the death of a 16-year-old Ohio girl, and who tried to delay his execution on grounds that he was allergic to the drug that would be used, has been put to death without complications.

Darryl Durr, who had been on the death row at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio, was pronounced dead at 10:36 a.m. According to reports, he clenched his fists, raised his head and grimaced as the lethal injection process began, but it is unclear whether or not this was a physical reaction to the drug.

Durr’s lawyers, in what was seen as a last-ditch legal maneuver, claimed that the inmate had an allergy to anesthesia, and that no one knew how his body would react if he were given a large dose of anesthesia during his lethal injection, were rejected by a judge, who said that Durr had waited too long before raising the issue. The United States Supreme Court upheld that ruling the day before the execution was scheduled to take place, and declined to intervene.

Durr, 46, had been convicted in the rape and murder of Angel Vincent, a 16-year-old from Elyria, Ohio, on January 31, 1988. Prosecutors said that Durr took Vincent from her home while her parents were away at a Super Bowl party, then raped her and strangled her with a dog chain. Durr had allegedly been obsessed with Vincent, naming a daughter after her and demanding that his girlfriend wear a pair of jeans he had taken from Vincent during the attack.

The body of Angel Vincent was found three months later, stuffed in two orange trash barrels placed end-to-end, in a Cleveland park. Durr was not connected to the crime until he was arrested on unrelated rape charges in September 1988, at which point his girlfriend came forward and said that she had seen Vincent tied up in the back of Durr’s car, and that he later boasted of having killed her.

In a final statement, Durr maintained his innocence, saying that he had hoped for further DNA testing, but acknowledged that this would not happen. He also told the Vincent family that he was sorry for their loss.

Durr was the fourth Ohio inmate executed this year; the state is on track to execute a record number of 11 inmates in 2010.

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