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Ohio killer tried to delay execution with organ donation offer

AP Photo/Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

Undated photo of Dennis McGuire.

A convicted killer scheduled to be executed Thursday with an untested drug cocktail tried to delay his date with death by offering to become an organ donor after another condemned prisoner won a temporary reprieve with the same request.

But Ohio Gov. John Kasich turned down two requests from Dennis McGuire because the inmate could not identify a family member that would benefit from his organs, according to documents originally obtained by the Associated Press.

Kasich earlier granted an eight-month delay to child-murderer Ronald Phillips, who wants to donate a kidney to his mother and his heart to his sister. The state is studying the feasibility.

Before the governor's reprieve, Phillips, 40, was slated to be the first person in the state executed under a new drug protocol: a combination of the sedative midozolam and the painkiller hydropmorphone.

But with Phillips awaiting word on possible organ donation, McGuire is now set to become the first to die by the never-tried method, which was adopted after the manufacturer of the primary drug, pentobarbital, stopped selling it to prisons.

McGuire's lawyers had argued the execution should be scrapped because it could cause a painful and terrifying phenomenon called "air hunger" before death, but a federal judge ruled against them earlier this week.

McGuire, 53, who was convicted of raping and stabbing to death a pregnant woman in 1989, was moved to Ohio's death house at 10 a.m. on Wednesday and was scheduled to meet with family and friends.

"Following the visits he will be given his special meal (roast beef, toasted bagel with cream cheese and onion, butter pecan ice cream, fried chicken, potato salad, fried potatoes with onion and Coca-Cola)," according to a statement from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

The execution process is slated to begin at 10 a.m. Thursday.