LINCOLN, Neb. — Harold LaMont Otey, convicted of raping a woman, beating her with a hammer and stabbing her to death, was executed early Friday in Nebraska's first execution in 35 years.
Otey, 43, died in the electric chair for the 1977 rape and murder of Jane McManus of Omaha.
Otey initially confessed to killing McManus, 26, who had been stabbed 15 times and beaten in her home. He later recanted.
In his confession to police, Otey said he killed McManus in a panic after she confronted him during a robbery.
A final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the execution failed Thursday. The justices voted 6 to 2 in a telephone conference call Thursday night. Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg would have granted the stay of execution, and Justice Stephen G. Breyer did not take part in the vote, said Ed Turner, a court spokesman.
The last execution in Nebraska was that of 20-year-old Charles Starkweather in 1959 for a string of 11 killings across the state.