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Two men executed in Florida and Ohio

The Associated Press

After the Supreme Court denied last-minute appeals Tuesday, two men were executed in Ohio and Florida.

Reginald Brooks was put to death in Ohio for fatally shooting his three sons while they slept. In Florida, Oba Chandler was executed for killing an Ohio woman and her two teen daughters.

The Supreme Court denied their appeals Tuesday. State and U.S. courts rejected attorneys' arguments that Brooks, 66, was not mentally competent and that the government withheld evidence that could have affected his case. Lawyers for Chandler, 65, say his rights were violated at his trial.

Chandler was administered a lethal injection and pronounced dead at 4:25 p.m. at the Florida state prison, Gov. Rick Scott's office said. Chandler was convicted in 1994 of killing Joan Rogers, 36, and her daughters Christe and Michelle, from the farming community of Willshire, Ohio.

The three were vacationing in Florida when they asked Chandler for directions. Authorities say Chandler lured them onto his boat, tied concrete blocks to ropes around their necks and dumped their bodies in Tampa Bay.

Brooks, of East Cleveland, died at 2:04 p.m., ending a nearly six-month break in the use of capital punishment in Ohio, which often trails only Texas in the number of annual executions.

Dressed in the standard white T-shirt and blue pants, Brooks remained silent as he received the lethal injection. Witnesses, including his former wife and her sisters, had a view of his left hand, its middle finger raised. Prison officials said he was making the same gesture with his right hand.

Brooks' actions appear to have been unprecedented since the state resumed executions in 1999. Condemned Ohio inmates in the past have criticized their sentences, professed their innocence, given angry final statements and pleaded to be spared, but never made an obscene gesture.

Beverly Brooks, who found her 11-, 15- and 17-year-old sons dead when she returned from work, and her two sisters sat silently during the execution. They were joined by a close friend, and all four wore T-shirts printed with a photo of the boys.

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