Christopher Eugene Brooks, 43, was executed on Thursday for the rape and murder of Jo Deann Campbell
A man who raped and bludgeoned a 23-year-old woman to death with a dumbbell in Alabama was executed on Thursday evening.
Christopher Eugene Brooks died at 6.38pm local time after the Supreme Court denied a stay of execution at 6.02pm.
In the hours leading up to his death, no one had attended a vigil area to support the prisoner before his death.
‘I hope this brings closure to everybody,’ Brooks said as the drugs began to overcome him.
‘I will take you with me in my heart,’ he said to friends who witnessed the execution, according to AL.com. ‘I’ll see you soon. Bye. I love you.’
Brooks was the first prisoner executed in Alabama for two years and the first in the state to use a new lethal drug combination including the sedative midazolam.
Brooks, now 43, sexually assaulted Jo Deann Campbell in her own apartment in Homewood on December 30, 1992, before killing her with an eight-pound dumbbell.
The pair had met working at a nearby summer camp but were not romantically involved, her sister Corinne told WWLP.
Miss Campbell let Brooks and his friend Robert Leeper stay at her place for the night, but the next day she did not show up for work.
Police found the young woman’s body, naked from the waist down, stashed under her bed.
Brooks and Leeper were caught days later after they were tracked down using Miss Campbell’s credit card.
A bloody fingerprint belonging to Brooks was found on the doorknob in Mrs Campbell’s bedroom, his palm print was discovered on her ankle and semen found on her body matched his DNA.
Brooks was found guilty of murder, rape and robbery whereas Leeper was only found guilty of robbery as DNA did not link him to Miss Campbell’s body.
Brooks (left) sexually assaulted Jo Deann Campbell (right) before killing her with an eight-pound dumbbell
Miss Campbell’s (pictured with her mother) body was found shoved underneath her bed and was naked from the waist down
Miss Campbell (left, and right with her father Joe Campbell) let Brooks and his friend Robert Leeper stay at her place for the night, but the next day she did not show up for work
Brooks’ execution began at 6.06pm CST (7pm EST) in the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore. His victim’s family were in attendance.
Brooks had appealed to the Supreme Court but was denied after a federal appeals court also turned him down.
The request for the stay of execution was made to Justice Clarence Thomas, according to AL.com.
Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed with Thomas’s decision to deny the stay.
The nation’s highest court issued a brief statement on Thursday evening that it had denied the request by an attorney for Brooks. It did not elaborate.
But Justice Stephen Breyer dissented from the ruling.
‘Christopher Eugene Brooks was sentenced to death in accordance with Alabama’s procedures, which allow a jury to render an “advisory verdict” that “is not binding on the court”,’ the dissent states.
‘Moreover, we have recognized that Alabama’s sentencing scheme is ‘much like’ and ‘based on Florida’s sentencing scheme,’ Breyer wrote.
Local Birmingham CBS reporter Jamie Ostroff tweeted that his final meal request was two peanut butter cups and a Dr Pepper, after Brooks did not eat breakfast.
The lethal injection used was the first in Alabama to use midazolam as a sedative. It was the first of three drugs administered before the murderer’s lungs and then heart were then stopped.
In their appeal to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Brooks’ attorneys said: ‘Alabama intends to use an execution protocol on Brooks that has never been used in Alabama and that is the subject of two pending federal court cases.
‘Brooks should not be the subject of Alabama’s experiment to see if it can carry out an execution using this protocol while the very validity of the protocol is at issue in ongoing federal court proceedings.
‘Brooks would suffer the most irreparable harm imaginable if Alabama was permitted to carry out his execution. This Court should grant a stay of execution.’
The death was the third lethal injection in the U.S. this year, following the executions of Oscar Ray Bolin Jr in Florida and Richard Masterson in Texas.
Before Brooks, the last death row inmate executed in Alabama was Andrew Lackey, who broke into the home of 80-year-old Second World War veteran Charles Newman before stabbing him to death.
WHAT DOES EACH DRUG USED IN ALABAMA’S LETHAL INJECTIONS DO?
Drug 1: Midazolam.
A 500mg dose of the sedative is administered to render the condemned prisoner unconscious, allowing officials to deliver the other drugs.
Drug 2: Rocuronium bromide.
The relaxant causes paralysis and stops the inmate from breathing. If the sedative has not been administered correctly this could cause intense pain, but the prisoner would be unable to show discomfort.
Drug 3: Potassium chloride.
Interrupts the electrical activity of the heart muscle, causing it stop beating. Cardiac arrest then leads to the prisoner’s death.
Midazolam – the first of three drugs given during Alabama’s executions – renders the prisoner unconscious