Nashville (WVLT) - A Gulf War veteran has become the first Tennessee inmate to be put to death by the electric chair since 1960.
Officials pronounced Daryl Holton, 45, dead at 2:25 a.m. Eastern Time at the Riverbend Maximum Security Prison in Nashville.
Witnesses said Holton appeared almost sedated as the execution began.
When asked if he had any final words, he said "Two words, I do."
Holton had confessed to shooting his three young sons and their half sister in 1997 in Shelbyville.
He told police he killed them because his ex-wife wouldn't let him see them.
A representative with the State Attorney General's office read a statement from the children's mother, Crystal Holton, after the execution.
"Today, all the anger, hatred, and a long time of nightmares can finally leave me. It will be replaced by all the sweet innocent and wonderess love that only a child can give. I am blessed that I had and always will have that love, times four," Lisa Helton read.
The Tennessee State Supreme court rejected a last minute petition by a group of lawyers trying to get a stay of execution.
Holton choose the electric chair over the state preferred method of lethal injection.
But the lawyers claimed the method should be declared unconstitutional because it's cruel and unusual punishment.
Holton's attorney spoke after the execution.
"This morning, Daryl Holton is free from the demons that haunted him," said attorney David Raybin. "I think what is important for him, as a man, was the way he lived and served his country and not the way he died."
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