April 27 (UPI) -- Arkansas executed a convicted murderer late Thursday, wrapping up a stretch of putting to death four inmates in eight days before a lethal injection drug expires.
Kenneth Williams, 38, was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m. Central time at Cummins prison in Grady, near Varner, where he also started serving a life sentence for murder but had escaped in October 1999 and killed another person.
The lethal injection was administered at 10:52 p.m. and he was pronounced dead 13 minutes later, according to Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves.
The execution was scheduled for 7 p.m. but delayed for several hours until the U.S. Supreme Court considered several petitions by the inmate, the governor's office said. Shortly after 10 p.m., officials received word the high court had denied all stays.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson's death warrant for Williams expired at midnight.
Hutchinson wanted to execute eight convicted killers over 11 days before the expiration date of a key drug, midazolam, at the end of the month. Four men won court stays and three were executed, including two Monday night.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit denied all three requests for a stay of execution by lawyers.
Also, U.S. District Court denied Williams' motion for a preliminary injunction on the grounds that the family of a victim was not notified of a clemency hearing. That family has forgiven Williams.
His lawyers petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court that three healthcare professionals determined Williams is "intellectually disabled" and thus cannot be executed.
Williams had been serving life in prison for killing Dominique Hurd, a 19-year-old University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in December 1998, when he also was 19. One month after his sentence on Sept. 15, 1999, Williams escaped from the prison by hiding in a tank used to carry kitchen scraps. About 4 miles away, he shot Cecil Boren, 57, a farmer and former deputy warden at his home. Williams then fled in Boren's pickup to Missouri. After a police chase, Williams was recaptured when he crashed the pickup into a water delivery truck, killing the driver, Michael Greenwood.
In 2000, Williams was sentenced to die for fatally shooting Boren.
In a statement, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said she prayed the execution brings "closure and peace to the Boren family."
Boren's widow, Gail, planned to witness the execution.
"We just live 2 miles from the prison. ... Every time I go up and down the highway, I know he's there," Gail Boren told KATV-TV. "We are looking forward to this happening so we can put it behind us."
Family members of Greenwood, the driver who was killed in the Missouri crash, wanted Thursday's execution postponed so that they can tell the state's parole board that they want him to be spared, Williams' attorneys said.
Williams also admitted to killing Jerrell Jenkins, 36, of Pine Bluff, in a 2005 letter to the Pine Bluff Commercial.