Donald Grant's Final Words Before Execution in Oklahoma

Donald Grant was executed by the Oklahoma authorities on Thursday for murdering a hotel manager and a worker during a robbery more than two decades ago.

Grant, 46, was put to death by lethal injection shortly after 10 a.m. CST at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. A doctor pronounced him dead at 10:16 a.m, a state corrections spokesman said.

His execution marked the first in the United States in 2022, and the state's third since lethal injections resumed in October 2021, after a nearly seven-year hiatus.

He was sentenced to death for the murder of the two hotel workers—Brenda McElyea, 29, and Felicia Suzette Smith, 43—at LaQuinta Inn in Del City on July 18, 2001.

Grant's final words were reported to be disjointed and incoherent. He was given two minutes to deliver his last words, and continued to speak after a prison staff member in the execution chamber cut off his microphone, according to the AP.

"Yo, God, I got this," Grant was reported as saying, according to witnesses. "No medication. I didn't take nothing. Brooklyn for life."

"I'm solid, son. No meds, no nothing. I'm solid," he said as he lay strapped to a gurney, NBC News reported. "I'm going to go to the universe, and then I'll be back. God is here. The true god."

He appeared to be crying as he spoke his final words, according to NBC News.

Grant was also reported as saying: "I've got things to handle, no doubt, no doubt."

He chanted incoherently at one point, according to the AP, and spoke to the seven witnesses who attended the execution on his behalf after his microphone was cut.

A doctor declared him unconscious at 10:09 p.m., and he stopped breathing shortly afterward.

Grant's attorneys had requested that a federal judge temporarily halt his execution, arguing that their client would be exposed to an unconstitutional risk of severe pain and suffering due to Oklahoma's three-drug lethal injection protocol.

The attorneys had also asked that Grant be reinstated as a plaintiff in a separate case challenging the state's injection protocol. Grant's request was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Shirl Pilcher, a sister of one of Grant's victims, McElyea, spoke to reporters after his execution.

"Although Donald Grant's execution does not bring Brenda back, it allows us all to finally move forward knowing that justice was served," she said.

"Where there once was doubt justice would ever be served, there is now none and we can move forward and the memories of the murder, trial, and years spent waiting can be replaced with happier moments of Brenda," Pilcher added.

The attorney general of Oklahoma, John O'Connor, said that Grant's execution was carried out "with zero complications" on Thursday morning.

"Justice is now served for Brenda McElyea, Felecia Suzette Smith, and the people of Oklahoma."

Donald Anthony Grant
Donald Grant's execution on January 27 marked the first in the United States in 2022, and the state’s third since lethal injections resumed in October 2021 after a nearly seven-year hiatus. OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS VIA AP/File