A New York City native was executed by lethal injection in Oklahoma on Thursday morning for killing two hotel workers during a 2001 robbery.
Donald Grant, 46, who grew up in a city public housing complex during the 1980s, was put to death at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester after an unsuccessful bid to halt the execution.
“Yo, God, I got this,” Grant said in his last words in front of seven witnesses. “No medication. I didn’t take nothing. Brooklyn for life,” he said.
He also chanted incoherently and continued speaking after his microphone from inside the execution chamber was turned off.
Grant, during a clemency hearing last November, admitted to murdering Brenda McElyea and Felicia Suzette Smith at the La Quita Inn in Del City. He said he committed the slayings to eliminate witnesses to the robbery.
The women were found shot and stabbed.
Following the murders, Grant fled to the Big Apple and was arrested at his sister’s Bronx apartment.
Shirl Pilcher, the sister of McElyea, witnessed Grant’s execution and said her family finally felt justice had been served.
“Although Donald Grant’s execution does not bring Brenda back, it allows us all to finally move forward knowing justice was served,” Pilcher said, according to The Associated Press.
Grant was the first person executed in the US in 2022 – and the third in Oklahoma since the state resumed lethal injections in October.
He sought a delay in the execution, arguing to a federal judge that he should be restored as a plaintiff in a lawsuit arguing the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s lethal injection method of execution.
The judge, an appeals panel and the US Supreme Court denied Grant’s request.
Grant’s lawyers argued he was an eligible candidate for mercy – saying he was mentally ill and suffered brain damage.
The attorneys noted Grant’s upbringing in a New York City housing project during the crack epidemic. They said he was routinely beaten and his relatives suffered from additional and mental illness.
With Post wires