LUCASVILLE, Ohio – A former Oregon truck driver who went on a multistate killing spree declined to make a final statement before he was executed in an Ohio prison — a sign that he remained unapologetic, according to the daughter of one his victims.
John Fautenberry, 45, shook his head Tuesday and said no when technicians asked him whether he wanted to say any final words.
Fautenberry was sentenced to death for killing Joseph Daron Jr., 46, who picked up the hitchhiking Fautenberry east of Cincinnati in 1991. Court records show Daron pleaded for his life before Fautenberry shot him and threw his body into a wooded area near the Ohio River.
Daron's daughter Rachel, who was 4 when her father was murdered, attended the execution with her mother, but they remained in a waiting room and did not watch.
The 22-year-old said she wished the execution had come sooner, but she did not expect to hear any last words from Fautenberry.
"I knew he's not sorry," she said. "He didn't care. And even if he did, it's not going to bring my dad back or any of the other victims back."
Fautenberry died by lethal injection at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, hours after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to delay his execution on a claim that he had brain damage.
Technicians had some difficulty inserting the shunts into Fautenberry's right arm, and blood pooled on the bandages. His arms and chest convulsed slightly and his Adam's apple jerked for about five minutes after the lethal drugs began to flow.
His Ohio defense attorney, Dennis Sipe, said he was concerned about the lengthy shunt insertion process.
"It was obvious there was a heavy flow of blood," Sipe said. "It seemed like it took awhile to get those things installed."
Fautenberry rubbed the fingers of his left hand together for about a minute, until his fingers grew still. The warden shook him on the shoulder and called his name, part of Ohio's revised execution procedure. Fautenberry did not respond, and a second dose of the injection was not used.
Fautenberry gave up his right to a trial by jury in Cincinnati and pleaded no contest July 23, 1992, to two counts each of aggravated murder and grand theft and one count of aggravated robbery in Daron's death.
Fautenberry also confessed to killing four people in three other states — Alaska, Oregon and New Jersey — during a five-month period in late 1990 and early 1991.
Six people watched the execution on behalf of victims' families. Fautenberry had no family members or friends present.
One of the witnesses, was Charlene Farmer, the mother of Gary Farmer, a fellow trucker whom Fautenberry was convicted of killing. Visibly shaken, Charlene Farmer clutched several photographs of her son and held them to her lips during the execution process. Afterward, she said she had traveled to Ohio from Tennessee for the execution with the hope that Fautenberry would finally apologize to her for killing her son.
She said she believed Fautenberry died an easy death.
"My son laid in the truck for they don't know how long with a bullet in his brain," she said.
Ohio has put 30 men to death since it reinstated the death penalty in 1999.