STARKE — Florida prison officials Thursday executed a man convicted of the 1994 rape and slaying of an 11-year-old girl. It was the state’s sixth execution this year.
Eddie Wayne Davis was executed by injection at Florida State Prison at 6:43 p.m.
Davis declined to say any final words before his sentence was carried out.
Executioners put the IV needle into Davis’ left arm around 6:30 p.m. Davis began muttering to himself after the process began, but witnesses in the viewing area couldn’t hear what he was saying because the speakers had been turned off. Davis’ chest heaved up and down for about five minutes before going motionless. There did not appear to be any outward signs of pain.
Davis, 45, was convicted in 1995 of first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual battery in the slaying of Kimberly Waters, the daughter of a woman Davis had dated briefly.
Davis broke into his ex-girlfriend’s trailer in the central Florida community of Lakeland seeking beer money, according to court documents. Prosecutors say he found Waters sleeping, and he woke the girl and raped her.
After the rape, Davis took Waters to a nearby Moose Lodge, where he beat her and suffocated her with a piece of plastic before dumping her body in a trash can.
Davis’ execution was the second in Florida since the lethal injection process came under fresh scrutiny in April when Oklahoma prison officials stopped the execution of Clayton Lockett after noticing the deadly drug mixture was not being administered into his vein properly. Lockett died minutes later of a heart attack.
Florida uses a three-drug mixture to execute prisoners: midazolam hydrochloride, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride. The drugs are administered intravenously, and are intended to first induce unconsciousness, then paralysis and finally cardiac arrest. Midazolam, a sedative used commonly in surgery, has been part of the three-drug mixture since 2013. Sodium thiopental was used before that, but its U.S. manufacturer stopped making it and Europe banned its manufacturers from exporting it for executions.
Davis made a last-ditch appeal to have his execution delayed, arguing to the U.S. Supreme Court that he had a health condition that made injection of the drugs incredibly painful, which violated the Eight Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. But the court rejected the argument, and allowed the execution to proceed.
Waters’ mother Beverly Schultz died in a motorcycle crash in 2004, but the victim’s grandmother and two other relatives were expected to be on hand to witness Davis’ execution.
Mary Hobbs, the grandmother, said before the execution that she felt it important to be there to represent her daughter and granddaughter. “My daughter never lived to see this happen and that just breaks my heart.”
Associated Press writer Tamara Lush in Tampa Bay contributed to this report.