Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier, 48, was pronounced dead at 4:35 p.m. on Saturday in an apparent suicide, the Nevada Department of Corrections said. Photo courtesy Nevada Department of Corrections
Jan. 6 (UPI) -- A Nevada death row inmate whose pending execution was the subject of an ongoing debate over the use lethal injection drugs died in an apparent suicide Saturday, the state's department of corrections said.
Scott Dozier, 48, was pronounced dead at 4:35 p.m. Saturday after medical and prison staff attempted emergency medical care after he was found in his cell at Ely State Prison, where he had been housed alone, the Nevada Department of Corrections said, according to news station KVUU.
Dozier was sentenced to death in 2007 after being convicted of first-degree murder and robbery in the killing of 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller, 22, in 2002. After that arrest he was connected to the 2001 slaying of 26-year-old Jasen Green in Arizona and convicted of second-degree murder there in 2005 before being extracted to stand trial in Nevada.
Both killings involved Dozier's manufacturing of methamphetamine.
He had been on death row for the past 11 years after his execution was rescheduled twice and had repeatedly said in court he was ready to die.
Corrections Department spokeswoman Brooke Santina said that Dozier was not on suicide watch and no one was in his cell at the time of his death, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Santina added she wasn't aware whether Dozier had left a note.
Dozier had been placed on suicide watch multiple times throughout the debate over his execution. After the repeated threats, Dozier was put in isolation in October, which his lawyers said worsened his mental state.
In December, he denied he had attempted suicide in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
"The state's responsibility is to execute me," he said. "I've been ready to go for two years now."
Santina said that an inmate is put on suicide watch after giving "any indication that he thought of harming himself in any way" and that his death is being investigated.
"All suicides are handled that way," she said.
Dozier's first execution was delayed in November 2017 after District Judge Jennifer Togliatti denied the use of a paralytic drug called cisatracurium in the execution cocktail and the second came in 2018 when the state attempted to use midazolam in a combination never before used in capital punishment.
Drug company Alvogen sued the prison over its use of midazolam and District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez barred the use of the drug.
The makers of fentanyl and cisatracurium also joined the lawsuit, which was still under litigation at the time of Dozier's death.