‘I feel my whole body burning’: Last words of man executed by lethal injection in Oklahoma
- Michael Lee Wilson was put to death by lethal injection in Oklahoma Thursday
- He was convicted in the murder of his co-worker Richard Yost
- Yost, 30, and Wilson both worked at a Tulsa Quiktrip store
- Wilson and three others brutally beat Yost to death and robbed the store in the early hours of February 25, 1995
- After a last meal of stuffed crust pizza and cherry Dr Pepper, Wilson was given the injection at 6:06pm
- His last words were, ‘I feel my whole body burning’ but showed no sign of physical distress
- Two other men were executed for the crime in 2009 and 2011
- A third is serving a life sentence
A man has been executed by lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary almost 20 years after orchestrating the brutal assault and robbery of his co-worker at a Tulsa convenience store.
Michael Lee Wilson, 38, was convicted in the killing of Richard Yost, 30, who aspired to one day manage the Quiktrip store. Wilson, who was convicted of first-degree murder, was the third person executed for the February 25, 1995, crime; the fourth defendant is serving a life term.
Prison spokesman Jerry Massie said Wilson’s time of death was 6:06 p.m. Wilson gave brief remarks twice – at first saying, ‘I love everybody,’ then speaking up again after Warden Anita Trammel ordered the execution to begin
‘I love the world,’ he said. ‘Love my daughters for me. I’m going to miss you always.’
Within 20 seconds of the execution starting, Wilson’s final words were, ‘I feel my whole body burning.’ He showed no physical signs of distress.
Wilson’s sister, Staci Wilson, sang a hymn throughout the execution, including the line, ‘His soul is resting and it’s a blessing.’ When he was pronounced dead, she recited Psalm 23.
After the execution, Wilson’s mother, Patricia Taylor, stood to capture a final look at her son on the gurney as a curtain began to close, blocking her view. Wilson’s fiancee sobbed beside her.
Earlier in the day, he ate his last meal, which consisted of a stuffed-crust pizza with parmesan cheese as a final meal, along with a Cherry Dr Pepper, a pomegranate and cherry mash candy.
Yost’s family denied an interview request but issued a statement noting the third of three executions was behind them.
‘Closure will be not hearing this on the news and reading about it in the paper,’ the family said in a statement issued by Angela Houser-Yost, Yost’s widow. ‘That is my closure – not to relive his death over and over but to remember the good times.’
Before the crime, the men loitered nearly an hour while waiting for customers to leave. Once they were gone, they struck Yost with an aluminum baseball bat 54 times in 131 seconds. They jostled a safe while removing it, but Wilson posed as Yost when a security company called to check an alarm.
And to dampen suspicions among middle-of-the-night customers, Wilson put on Yost’s uniform and worked the cash register as Yost lay dying in a pool of blood, beer and milk behind the cooler doors.