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Georgia executes killer of off-duty prison guard

May 5, 2018

This undated, file image provided by the Georgia Department of Corrections shows death-row inmate Robert Butts Jr., who is convicted of robbing and killing an off-duty prison guard. A trial witness has acknowledged giving false testimony that Butts confessed to being the triggerman in a 1996 shotgun slaying for which he is to be executed this week, the inmate's attorneys said in court documents Tuesday, May 1. (Georgia Department of Corrections via AP, File)

JACKSON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia inmate executed for a 1996 shotgun slaying twitched briefly as the lethal injection flowed into his body and groaned.

Forty-year-old Robert Earl Butts Jr. was declared dead by a prison warden at 9:58 p.m. Friday after the compounded barbiturate pentobarbital was injected into his body. Prison officials said he had declined to take a sedative.

Strapped to a gurney with his arms out to his sides, Butts kept his eyes closed throughout the procedure. A tube that delivers the killing drugs through a wall appeared to pulse soon after the warden left the death chamber at 9:42.

“It burns, man,” Butts said in a low voice. Those were his final words.

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