Oklahoma First Execution – Oklahoma state finished, what a convicted killer in prison tried to do himself a few weeks ago, putting him to death making the first execution of 2012 in the United States. Gary Roland Welch, 49. was put to death by lethal injection last Thursday. Three weeks prior he tried committing suicide by slashing his throat.
Welch was convicted of murder after stabbing a man to death in an apparent drug deal gone bad in Miami Oklahoma in 1994. Welch claims he was defending himself after the 35-year-old Robert Dean Hardcastle unexpectedly attacked him.
Witnesses however, testified that Welch punched and stabbed Hardcastle, then started slashing him with a broken bottle. In his parole board and pardon meeting Welch stuck to his side of the story refusing to apologize for the death of Hardcastle, because he initiated the violence.
“To me, this was life or death. It was just luck that I survived,” Welch said. “My intentions were never to kill him. But I also didn’t intend for him to kill me either.”
Before siting a saying from Norse mythology four times, “Valhalla, Odin, slay the beast,” Massie stated to his executioners, “So let’s get it on because that’s what we’re here for.”
“Gary Welch had a 15-year history of violent crimes that included multiple assaults on women and police officers, burglary, stabbings and carrying concealed weapons before his conviction for murder,” Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said.
“The punishment of death as chosen by a jury of Welch’s peers is reserved for the most heinous crimes. My thoughts are with Robert Hardcastle’s family and what they have endured for the past 17 years,” he added.