Witnesses Describe Execution Of Moeller
by Jill Johnson
October 31, 2012 1:08 AM
Sixty-year-old Donald Moeller died from lethal injection last night at 10:24 p.m., the exact same time Eric Robert was put to death a little more than two weeks ago. Moeller was the third person to be executed in South Dakota in 65 years. We hear from witnesses on what it was like to be there as it happened.
At 5:30 p.m., death row inmate Donald Moeller has already eaten his last meal. He ate scrambled eggs, link sausage, tator tots and drip coffee. Then Moeller waits in is holding cell, until about 20 minutes before he was set to be executed. From there, he's moved to the execution chamber, where he will soon take his last breaths.
"Inmate Moeller was removed from the holding cell at 9:38 p.m.," said Michael Winder of the South Dakota Department of Corrections.
Only steps away, it takes Moeller just one minute to be transfered to the table. At 9:41, all seven restraints are secure. An IV is started in his right arm, then his left. One of the IV is for back up. Minutes later, witnesses are escorted into the viewing rooms that surround the execution chamber. Just one minute before 10 o'clock, the curtains to the rooms are opened.
Kristi Eaton with the Associated Press said, "He was laying there with a white t-shirt on and orange jail pants. A white sheet was over his legs, his arms were outstretched."
At exactly 10 p.m. Warden Doug Weber is cleared to proceed with the execution. Weber asks Moeller if he has any last words. Moeller replies, "No sir". Then, something else comes out of Moeller's mouth.
Eaton said, "'No sir' then a beat later, 'They're my fan club'."
Steve Young with the Argus Leader said, "It sounded like he said, 'they're my fan club'."
The injections begin flowing through Moeller's veins at 10:01 p.m. The injections are complete three minutes later.
"Within a minute or two, I heard no breathing. I didn't see his chest moving up and down, as far as I knew at 10:03 he was gone," said Young.
The witnesses say his face turned an ash color, then purple. Donald Moeller is pronounced dead at 10:24 p.m., 22 years, 5 months, and 23 days after raping and murdering 9-year-old Becky O'Connell.
"All I know is it was 66 degrees in that room and he layed on that table and went away forever," said Young.
Twenty-three minutes passed from the time the injections began to the time Donald Moeller was pronounced dead.