Alabama has executed Nathaniel Woods Jr, who was linked to the killing of 3 police officers.
Per TheHill, Nathaniel Woods, 44, was pronounced dead at 9:01 p.m, according to the Montegomery Advisor. He had no final words.
Woods, who was convicted as an alleged accomplice in a 2004 killing of three police officers, had been set to die by lethal injection at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Ala., according to court documents.
Earlier in the day, Justice Clarence Thomas signed an initial temporary stay order to halt Woods’s execution, stating that the status of his punishment would not move forward “pending further order of the undersigned or of the Court.”
However, less than four hours later, the Supreme Court denied to review Woods’s case and lifted the stay.
His death came after a storm of legal appeals and protests, including family members of the deceased officers. They argued that Woods, who did not actually kill the officers, and according to the trigger man had no part in the crime, is innocent.
Alabama Sen. Doug Jones (D) sent a letter to Gov. Kay Ivey, saying that because of the discrepancies in the case, “a delay is warranted.”
Fox News reports death row inmate Nathaniel Woods Jr. was executed by lethal injection at 9:01 p.m. Thursday for his role in the 2004 killings of three Alabama police officers — who were shot by another man at a suspected drug house.
Woods, 43, had no last words before becoming the first person to be executed in the state this year, despite efforts on his behalf by Martin Luther King III, Kim Kardashian West, and other supporters.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to halt the proceeding Thursday after issuing a temporary stay hours earlier. It was carried out after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey told the attorney for Woods she had denied a request for clemency.
“After thorough and careful consideration of the facts surrounding the case I concluded that the state of Alabama should carry out Mr. Woods’ lawfully imposed sentence this evening,” Ivey said. “This is not a decision that I take lightly, but I firmly believe in the rule of law and that justice must be served.”
Woods and Kerry Spencer were convicted of capital murder and sentenced in the slayings of three Alabama officers, who were killed in a hail of gunfire in Birmingham. A fourth officer was wounded and survived.
Those killed were Officers Carlos Owen, 58; Harley Chisholm III, 40; and Charles Robert Bennett, 33.
Prosecutors said Spencer fired at the officers with a high-powered rifle in the apartment after Woods lured them in. Woods was convicted as an accomplice.
Supporters of Woods argued that Spencer was the only person responsible for the deaths and that Woods received an unfair trial in 2005.
“’He is actually innocent,” Woods’ sister, Pamela Woods, told reporters outside the prison earlier on Thursday. “Kerry Spencer, the actual shooter, has stated many times that he did it on his own with no help from anyone.”
Other advocates for Woods, including King, a son of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., had waged an appeal, reaching out to Ivey to stop the execution as the case received national attention.
“Killing this African American man, whose case appears to have been strongly mishandled by the courts, could produce an irreversible injustice. Are you willing to allow a potentially innocent man to be executed?” King wrote to Ivey.