Christopher Newton (criminal)

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Christopher J. Newton
Born November 13, 1969
Ohio, United States
Died May 24, 2007(2007-05-24) (aged 37)
Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, Lucasville, Ohio, United States
Criminal status Executed by lethal injection

Christopher J. Newton (November 13, 1969 – May 24, 2007) was an American murderer executed in the state of Ohio in 2007.

Christopher Newton received the death penalty for the 2001 aggravated murder of his cellmate, Jason Brewer. At the time of the murder, Newton was imprisoned for attempted aggravated burglary of his father's home, an offense he committed a few weeks after his release from prison for a prior attempted aggravated burglary. Newton killed Brewer in their cell by stomping on his neck and head and strangling him with a strip of cloth. According to the opinion of the Ohio Supreme Court affirming the death penalty, Newton laughed while responding officials tried to resuscitate Brewer, having smeared Brewer's blood on his face and drunk some of it (stating, "if he is not dead, I hope he is going to be a vegetable"). Newton admitted that another inmate had hired him to assault Brewer, and that he was ready to die in prison and knew that murdering another inmate would warrant the death penalty.

According to the Ohio Supreme Court, numerous psychiatrists and psychologists had examined Newton over the years, resulting in various diagnoses. At the capital trial, a defense psychologist testified that Newton had several mental health disorders, including "mood disorder" and symptoms of PTSD. In response, a government psychiatrist reviewed the mental health history and rebutted the defense expert. The court denied defense funds for neuropsychiatric tests to explore other types of mental disability. The trial was before a three-court panel of judges who, after hearing the evidence, imposed the death penalty.

At execution, Newton's obesity made it difficult to locate his veins, making administration of the injection difficult. A controversy arose regarding the delay. In particular, because he weighed 265 pounds (120 kg), Newton's veins were very difficult to locate. It took over two hours and 10 attempts before the execution was completed.[1] The problems with Newton's execution occurred one year after the 90 minute execution of fellow Ohio inmate, Joseph Lewis Clark.[1]

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  1. ^ a b Conroy, Scott (May 24, 2007). "Bizarre Execution In Ohio". CBS News. Retrieved 2016-05-15.