Scott Eizember: Man, 62, executed in Oklahoma for killing elderly couple says his 'conscience is clear'

Scott Eizember: Man, 62, executed in Oklahoma for killing elderly couple says his 'conscience is clear'
Scott James Eizember, 62, who was convicted of murdering an elderly couple and other offenses, died after receiving a lethal injection in Oklahoma (Oklahoma Department of Corrections)

MCALESTER, OKLAHOMA: The state of Oklahoma executed a man on Thursday, January 12, who murdered an elderly couple after sneaking into their home and committing other crimes 20 years ago, before authorities arrested him in Texas following a manhunt. Scott James Eizember, 62, died after receiving a lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester at 10.15 am local time.

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At 10.07 am, Eizember's breathing became difficult, and he was ruled unconscious. At 10.10 am, he appeared to stop breathing. At 10.15 am, he was pronounced dead. "I'm at peace," Eizember stated as he was strapped to a gurney and had an intravenous line inserted into his left arm. "My conscience is clear, completely. I love my children," reported The Daily Beast.

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Eizember, who had a close-cropped beard, could be seen talking with his spiritual adviser, Rev Jeffrey Hood, who was also in the execution chamber, once the fatal medicines started to flow. There were 17 people present in the witness room when he lifted his head and mouthed the words "I love you" to his daughter, as per the outlet. 

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What crimes did Scott Eizember commit?

In order to wait for his ex-girlfriend, Kathryn Smith, who lived across the street, Eizember, 62, reportedly broke into the Cantrells' house in Depew, Oklahoma, after he saw them leave. Prosecutors claim that Eizember shot and killed Patsy Cantrell, 70, with a shotgun he discovered inside the house when the couple unexpectedly arrived home, and then bludgeoned AJ Cantrell, 76, to death with the same weapon. Prosecutors claim that after killing the couple, Eizember crossed the street to Smith's house, where she shot her son in the back and assaulted Smith's mother. Both people survived, and according to the investigators, Eizember eventually fled the city in a stolen car.

Police think that while a massive manhunt was being conducted to find Eizember, he spent more than 30 days hiding out in the woods near the communities of Depew and Bristow. Tessa Henry, an assistant attorney general, told the pardon board that Eizember wasn't scared to kill again. Prosecutors said Eizember eventually made his way to Arkansas in a stolen automobile and reportedly kidnapped a doctor and his wife at gunpoint. He was apprehended in the town of Lufkin when the physician pulled out a weapon stowed in the couple's van and shot Eizember four times.

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Eizember was found guilty of first-degree murder and given the death penalty for the murder of AJ Cantrell. For the murder of Patsy Cantrell, he was found guilty of second-degree murder and given a 150-year prison sentence. Eizember and AJ Cantrell were allegedly fighting over a shotgun when Patsy Cantrell was shot and killed, according to Eizember's legal team. In December 2005, a federal jury in Arkansas found Eizember guilty of two charges of kidnapping, one offense of carjacking, and one count of using a weapon during a violent crime. In that case, he received a 25-year federal jail term, as reported by CBS News.

The Department of Corrections turned down the preacher because of Hood's history of anti-death penalty activism, including arrests, so Eizember filed a last-minute petition to be allowed to have his spiritual adviser present with him inside the death chamber during his execution. The Cantrell family's worries that the decision would result in Thursday's, January 12, execution being postponed caused the DOC to change its mind about that decision on Wednesday, January 11. Following his execution, the couple's son lashed out at the state, claiming that 20 years was "too long for justice to be served," as Eizember, had been on death row at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary since 2005.

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