FLORENCE, Ariz., March 8 (UPI) -- Arizona executed inmate Robert Towery Thursday for the 1991 murder of a Paradise Valley philanthropist during a robbery.
Towery was put to death by lethal injection. The U.S. and Arizona Supreme Courts turned down stay requests Wednesday night.
The Arizona Republic said Towery, 38, was pronounced dead nine minutes after the lethal injection procedure began at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Florence.
Towery was served a last meal Wednesday night of porterhouse steak, baked potato and sour cream, asparagus, mushrooms, clam chowder, milk, Pepsi and apple pie a la mode, the newspaper said.
The death row inmate's meeting with his attorneys Thursday morning ran long, and the executioner found he had to insert a catheter in the femoral artery, the Republic said, suggesting a vein could not be raised in his arm. The delays pushed the execution back more than an hour, from 10 a.m. to 11:17 a.m., the Republic said.
. The newspaper said Towery apologized to his own family and the victim's family, talked about bad choices he had made, then appeared to be crying, saying "I love my family. Potato, potato, potato."
He slipped into unconsciousness after a few hard breaths.
It was the second execution in nine days in Arizona. Robert Moormann, who killed his mother and chopped her into pieces 28 years ago, was executed Feb. 29.
Towery was convicted for killing Mark Jones, 68, during an armed robbery at Jones' home. Towery was a mechanic for Jones, who had even lent him money.
Towery and an accomplice went to Jones' house in 1991. Towery strangled Jones with zip ties, then injected Jones with battery acid from a syringe, the accomplice said.
The accomplice was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the newspaper said. The two made off in one of Jones' cars with a television set, cash and credit cards.