DeYoung dies by lethal injection
by Jon Gillooly
jgillooly@mdjonline.com
July 21, 2011 08:32 PM | 14149 views | 19 19 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JACKSON — Nearly two decades after he murdered his mother, father and 14-year-old sister in their northeast Cobb home in 1993, Andrew DeYoung, 37, was put to death at 8:04 p.m. Thursday.

DeYoung was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 1995.

Asked to make a final statement, DeYoung said, “I’m sorry to anyone I ever hurt.”

The rest of his message was garbled over the prison’s sound system, although DeYoung’s lawyer said he added “I love you Dawn (a longtime friend). Remember to smile.”

DeYoung declined the offer of a final prayer, but accepted Ativan, a sedative, with his dinner.

As the execution cocktail was injected into his arms via an IV drip, DeYoung swallowed a few times and blinked his eyes before closing them, his expression blank. He was pronounced dead shortly after.

“The execution was flawless,” Attorney General Sam Olens said later. “The Department of Corrections did an excellent job handling the execution this evening.”

DeYoung had his requested last meal before his planned execution on Wednesday, where he ate pizza, grape juice, vanilla ice cream and all-fruit strawberry preserves. He took an Ativan then as well.

But prison officials say this is a one-time-only privilege, and Thursday night he was provided with standard prison fare: chicken and rice, dried peas, seasoned turnip greens, cornbread, a brownie, and tea.

He was visited Thursday by an aunt, two friends, his legal counsel and a member of the clergy. They departed the prison by 3 p.m.

Thursday’s execution was scheduled for 7 p.m., but was slightly delayed because one of the doctors arrived late due to traffic, Olens said.

Around 7:25 p.m., DeYoung, dressed in a white jumpsuit with long pants and short sleeves, was led into the death chamber by six prison guards. He did not resist as they motioned for him to recline on the gurney, which was covered in a white sheet and white pillow. The death chamber has four windows that look out a small room with three benches for witnesses to sit. DeYoung was stretched out on the bed with his feet, which were bare and heavily calloused, facing the witness windows. The six guards placed straps around his ankles and across his thighs, all the while holding him down with their hands. DeYoung stared at the ceiling, his expression blank. Guards then extended arms rests from the gurney and strapped his arms at the wrist and below the elbow before trying him down with a chest strap as well.

The guards then exited the death chamber, and two female nurses came out from behind a white curtain, attaching three heart monitors to his chest at about 7:32 p.m. They also tied a blue ribbon around each arm to find a vein and inserted an IV drip in each arm. One drew also drew a vial of blood. At one point, one of the nurses appeared to ask him a question, which he answered with a smile before looking down at his arms. One nurse then went behind the white curtain while the other remained at his side.

Two prison guards then taped down the four fingers of each hand to the arm rests, leaving his thumbs free. DeYoung was covered by a white sheet that left his arms and head exposed at about 7:45 p.m. before he made his final statement, remaining calm and expressionless before closing his eyes. A fly landed on the sheet as the room remained silent, the only sound caused by the air conditioning.

Around 7:53 p.m., the nurse checked DeYoung’s face and shook her head. Three male doctors in white uniforms entered the death chamber, and each opened DeYoung’s eyes and checked his chest with stethoscopes. After the third doctor did this procedure, they nodded in agreement, and the warden pronounced DeYoung dead at 8:04 p.m. before closing the curtain in front of the witness windows.

Among those in the witness room with Olens were Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren and Cobb Superior Court Administrator Tom Charron, who served as the district attorney during the murder case.

In what Olens believes is a first for Georgia, a cameraman was allowed to record the execution.

The execution was set for Wednesday, but was pushed back a day as the state tried to block the recording.

Lawyers for death row inmate Gregory Walker argued that recording DeYoung’s execution would provide critical evidence in his appeal about the effects of pentobarbital, which is the sedative now being used as the first step in Georgia’s injection procedure.

Walker’s attorneys want to show that the drug does not adequately sedate the inmate and could cause pain and suffering.

In court filings, state prosecutors argued that having a videographer in the execution chamber would jeopardize the state’s carefully scripted security.

“That’s a very small room, and there are too many opportunities for mischief on behalf of the condemned,” Olens said. “For instance, when he’s walking into the room, anyone and everyone that isn’t a state corrections employee is someone at risk.”

State prosecutors also said creating a video came with the risk of it being distributed.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane allowed the recording to take place. The video will be kept under seal by the court. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said it was up to the courts to decide the matter, though he told reporters following a news conference Thursday he had “grave reservations” about videotaping executions.

The use of pentobarbital became an issue in Georgia after Roy Blankenship’s June 23 execution.

Blankenship was the first Georgia prisoner put to death using the sedative pentobarbital as the lead-off drug in the state’s lethal three-drug combination.

An Associated Press reporter witnessed Blankenship jerking his head several times during the procedure, looking at the injection sites in his arms and muttering after the pentobarbital was injected into his veins.

Death penalty critics said Blankenship’s unusual movements were proof that Georgia shouldn’t have used pentobarbital to sedate him before injecting pancuronium bromide to paralyze him and then potassium chloride to stop his heart.

In seeking a stay, DeYoung’s attorneys argued that using pentobarbital could cause DeYoung to suffer, but the courts rejected those arguments.

“Defense lawyers will continue to make the same argument on behalf of their clients, but the execution tonight, coupled with the video, undercut their arguments totally,” Olens said.

The state attorney general’s office has said adequate safeguards are in place to prevent needless suffering, including a consciousness check before the second and third drugs are administered.

DeYoung was 21 when he entered the home of his parents, off Shallowford and Trickum roads and not far from Lassiter High School, in the early morning hours of June 14, 1993, climbed the stairs to where his parents and sister were sleeping and stabbed them to death, according to court testimony.

Gary DeYoung and his wife, Kathryn, both 41, and their youngest child, Sarah, were found in pools of blood, their bodies marked by more than 40 stab wounds and cuts.

Andrew DeYoung was accompanied by David Michael Hagerty, then 26, whom DeYoung instructed to kill his 16-year-old brother, Nathan. But Nathan escaped through his bedroom window and ran to a neighbor’s house for safety. Prosecutors said DeYoung planned the crime to claim his parents’ estate, which DeYoung estimated to be worth $480,000, to start a business.

Hagerty pleaded guilty to his part in the murders and received three consecutive life sentences. He is incarcerated at Dodge State Prison in Chester.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report
Comments
(19)
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MAY-RETTA SURVIVOR
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July 23, 2011
De Lovely!
BoundToHappen
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July 22, 2011
What's the sense in videotaping it? It'll surely show up online in a few years.
MAY-RETTA SURVIVOR
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July 22, 2011
To "Cobb Nose": Please, go "pick it" elsewhere, won't you?
East Cobb
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July 22, 2011
Bring back old sparky!!!!
Justice at last
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July 22, 2011
Finally - after almost 20 years - DeYoung is at last put to death for killing his parents and sister.
drme83
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July 22, 2011
Actually, I apologize...that should read "touching the skin of an UNCLEAN animal." Not a DEAD animal.
drme83
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July 22, 2011
Cobb Native, Torah lists a lot of things that should be punished by death...homosexuality, adultery, planting two different crops side by side, touching the skin of a dead animal...there are about 30 others. But Christ, with His very own blood, freed us from the restraints of the Law...it's no longer necessary for us to live like that. Jews still live according to the Law because they don't believe that Christ freed us from it (and conservative and reform Judaism teach against capital punishment, btw). Apparently you don't either. If we're going to use Torah to justify state-sponsored violence (killing IS violence no matter how "humane" is supposedly is), then let's be consistent. Torah reflected the best wisdom of the time, for all we know. But by any modern standard, capital punishment is just plain wrong.
Cobb Mom
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July 22, 2011
My thoughts and prayers are with Nathan and the remaining family members and friends who have lost so much. God be with you all.
TRUTH HURTS
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July 22, 2011
HAHAHA, GOOD RIDDANCE!
Cobb Nose
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July 22, 2011
Cobb Native: Do you still think women should be submissive to their husbands and slaves should obey their masters?...do you eat pork ?, parse whatever language you will from the old testament and covenants , people have done it to justify evil, killing, slavery, subjugation and other twisted acts for eons..You are no exception.

Demosthenese
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July 22, 2011
Cobb Native, you need to keep reading. In Matthew 5:38-41, Jesus said, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain."
Dustoff
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July 22, 2011
17 years we fed, clothed and provided medical care for a killer.

Its time to change the rules, you get sentenced to die, you get 1 appeal that must be filed and heard in no less than 6 months, if it fails you have 1 week to get your affairs in order then on Sat. morning you are done.

What a waste of jail space and tax money.
Scott910
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May 02, 2012
Couldn't agree more!
Cobb Native
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July 22, 2011
TO COBB NOSE....well since you brought God into this. Deuteronomy chapter19 verse 21 states "And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." The blood on his hands is what brought about his own death. So it be written, so it be done.
sandy plains
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July 22, 2011
To Cobb Nose: God isn't here. We have to deal this terrible place ourselves and this is how we do it.
Demosthenese
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July 22, 2011
Glad to know the USA does a fine job keeping up with China, North Korea, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Iran in our rates of state sponsored executions.

Embarrassing.

Piper1010
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July 22, 2011
What a fasinating story.
Brett747
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July 22, 2011
Why did the taxpayers of Georgia have to be burdened with the millions of dollars to take care of this animal for 17 years? Sorry ? He was sorry alright, sorry he got caught. He didn't even have the decency to mention his surviving brother.Some forfeit their right to be on this earth and he was certainly one. My sympathy is for the lives he DESTROYED.
cobb nose
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July 22, 2011
As wrong as DeYoung was, and as much pain as he caused, a state ordered death is chilling...to all those that participated and to those that took the Hippocratic Oath...how does it feel to have played God?

To the guards that held this beast down and strapped him to the gurney?, how do you feel now?, and to Governor Deal who had the ultimate state power to stop the furtherance of the killing process?, how do you sleep? And to all those that will write against this missive..how do you square yourself with your Lord and savior on this view?..tell him first, then sling your arrows toward me.
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