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Wednesday 27 August 2014

Man executed over US stab killing

Published 13/11/2012 | 17:23

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Jacqueline Brown, a friend of stabbing victim Winda Snipes, talks to reporters after witnessing the execution of killer Brett Hartman (AP)

A condemned killer who claimed he was innocent of stabbing a woman 138 times, slitting her throat and cutting off her hands has been executed in Ohio.

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"I'm good, let's roll," Brett Hartman said.

Hartman was the 49th inmate put to death since Ohio resumed executions in 1999. The US Supreme Court denied a last-minute appeal on Monday.

Amnesty International said only China, Iran, North Korea and Yemen executed more people than the US last year.

Hartman, 38, acknowledged that he had sex with Winda Snipes early on the morning of September 9, 1997, at her apartment. He also said he went back to her apartment later that day, found her mutilated body and panicked, trying to clean up the mess before calling police.

But Hartman said he did not kill her, a claim rejected by numerous courts over the years.

The Ohio Parole Board had unanimously denied Hartman's requests for clemency three times, citing the brutality of the killing and the "overwhelming evidence" of Hartman's guilt.

Hartman's lawyers have long said that crucial evidence from the crime scene and Ms Snipes' body had never been tested, raising questions about Hartman's innocence. The evidence included fingerprints allegedly found on a clock and a mop handle. Hartman also argued the evidence could implicate an alternate suspect.

The lawyers had argued that if Hartman's innocence claim was not accepted, he should still be spared because of the effects of a "remarkably chaotic and nomadic early childhood", including being abandoned by his mother and left with an aunt on an isolated Indian reservation.

The state opposed those arguments, citing the strength of the evidence and the fact that courts have repeatedly upheld Hartman's conviction and death sentence. The state also said Hartman refused to take responsibility and show remorse.

Press Association

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