Convicted murderer Marco Allen Chapman executed

Marco Allen Chapman
Marco Allen Chapman

Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

EDDYVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Friday night, the state of Kentucky carried out its first execution in nine years. Just after 8 p.m. Eastern time, 37-year-old Marco Allen Chapman died by lethal injection for the 2002 murders of two children in Warsaw, Kentucky in an attack that left their mother and sister wounded.

In 2004, Chapman pled guilty to the crimes and asked to be put to death. In court proceedings, he sought to fire his attorneys and end any legal proceedings to prevent his execution.

Lisa Lamb, spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Corrections, announced the death sentence had been carried out with the following statement:

"The execution of Marco Allen Chapman was carried out in accordance with the sentencing courts of Kentucky and the laws of the Commonwealth at 7:34 p.m."

Before he was taken to the death chamber, corrections officials say that Chapman's mood was peaceful. They say he spent time writing letters to family members and preparing his final statement that would be read to those who would watch him die.

In his final handwritten statement, Chapman said, "I have no right to ask for forgiveness and don't intend to. I want you to know that I believe wholeheartedly that Cody and Chelbi are safe in heaven. I don't know if I deserve heaven after what I did, but I pray with all my heart that I will find some sort of peace and happiness after my last breath."

However, those were not his final words. WAVE 3's Carrie Weil, one of nine media members selected to witness the execution, reports after Warden Tom Simpson read Chapman's prepared statement, he asked Chapman if he had anything to say.

Weil says that a slightly emotional Chapman, strapped to the table in the death chamber, rose up as much as he could and looked at the witness gallery. Although he could not see the witnesses due to the one-way glass in the windows, Chapman spoke to Carolyn Marksberry, mother of the murdered and wounded children, saying, "Carolyn, I want you to know I am truly sorry."

According to Weil, Chapman went on to say that, "I don't know why it happened," and "This is the man I am willing to give my life."

The order was then given to proceed. One media witness, Paul Miles of 84WHAS radio, said he saw a tear come down from the deputy warden's cheek and eye.

Other media witnesses say that about two minutes into the execution procedure, about 7:22 p.m. Central time, they saw Chapman swallow a couple of times and he breathing became shallow. About a minute later, the witnesses saw no further rising motion from Chapman's chest. About that same time, Warden Simpson reached over and closed Chapman's eyes.

A hearse took Chapman's body to the Lyon County Coroner's Office. His body will be cremated and, at Chapman's request, his remains will be sent to family members.

Marksberry, who watched her children die at the hands of Chapman, released the following statement, which said in part:

"I believe the tears shed today should be for the victims not Marco Chapman. Marco Chapman committed the crimes, accepted responsibility for those crimes and then decided his own fate."

Friday night, Governor Steve Beshear's office issued the following statement:

"Tonight, the state carried out the mandate of the court in a professional and solemn manner. Let there be no question: Mr. Chapman committed a horrible crime, he pled guilty and was repeatedly found competent to make decisions. The state responded by doing its duty. My hope is that the Marksberry family, whose lives were torn apart by Mr. Chapman's horrifying acts, can find some level of peace and the ability to move forward. I pray for them, and I pray for Mr. Chapman and his family on this difficult day."

Chapman was the first inmate executed in Kentucky since Eddie Lee Harper was put to death by lethal injection in 1999.

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