McALESTER, Okla. – Oklahoma on Tuesday executed a man who was convicted of killing two women — one 83, the other 93.
Ronald Clinton Lott, 53, was pronounced dead at 6:06 p.m. after receiving a lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. Lott was the fifth Oklahoma death row inmate to be executed this year.
As the curtains opened, Lott looked over at his brother, who raised his fist and nodded. Lott made no final statement. He again looked at his brother in the first row of the viewing room as the drugs were pumped into his body, then Lott's eyes closed. He started breathing heavily and gasped for air three times.
Following the pronouncement of death, corrections workers tried to close the curtains, but one wouldn't despite repeated attempts. They ended up hanging a white sheet over the window.
An Oklahoma County jury convicted Lott of two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Anna Laura Fowler, 83, in September 1986 and Zelma Cutler, 93, in January 1987. He was also convicted of raping the women. State and federal courts denied Lott's appeals.
No members of the victims' families were in attendance, but an attorney for Lott was.
Fowler lived alone in Oklahoma City when Lott broke into her home through the back screen door and attacked her on Sept. 2, 1986. Authorities said Fowler was raped and a knotted cloth was used to bind her hands. She had multiple injuries, including rib fractures and bruising on her wrists, hands, eyes, lips and cheeks. She died from asphyxiation, and her grandson found her dead on her bed the next morning.
Cutler's home was across the street from Fowler and she also lived alone. Police found her dead on her bed on Jan. 11, 1987. The electricity to Cutler's home had been shut off at the breaker box and the phone wire had been cut. She had been raped and had multiple rib fractures and bruising.
Another man was initially charged and convicted and was sentenced to death. During the appeals process, DNA samples excluded the man and implicated Lott, who at the time was incarcerated for raping two other elderly women.
In November, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-1 to deny commuting Lott's death sentence to life in prison.
At the clemency hearing, Lott apologized to the victims' families and asked for their forgiveness.
"I'm so sorry for what I've done. And I'd ask them to forgive me," Lott told board members, victims' family members and others during a teleconference from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary at McAlester.
"I caused them so much hurt and pain."
Lott initially told members of the Pardon and Parole Board that he wanted to waive his clemency hearing, but made a statement after his attorney pleaded with him to do so. He refused to ask the board to spare his life, though, despite his attorney's pleas.
Jim Fowler, the son of Anna Fowler, urged the board to spare Lott's life "and let him rot in that damn cell."
Lott's last meal was fish, fries and hush puppies with tartar sauce and ketchup from Long John Silver's.
A planned protest at the Governor's Mansion over the execution was cancelled due to inclement weather.
Oklahoma is scheduled to execute another inmate before the end of the year. Johnny Dale Black, 48, is scheduled to be executed Dec. 17 for the 1998 stabbing death of a Ringling horse trainer.