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Oklahoman executed for killing ex-girlfriend, kids

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma death row inmate who tried to delay his execution by challenging the state's lethal injection method was executed Tuesday evening just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to step in.

Michael Hooper, convicted for the December 1993 shooting deaths of his former girlfriend and her two young children, received a lethal dose of drugs at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. The 40-year-old was pronounced dead at 6:14 p.m., according to the Department of Corrections.

Hooper was sentenced to death for killing 23-year-old Cynthia Lynn Jarman and her two children, 5-year-old Tonya and 3-year-old Timmy. Prosecutors alleged that the victims were with Hooper in a pickup truck in a mowed field when he placed a 9mm pistol under Cynthia Jarman's chin and shot her, then shot the children to prevent them from being witnesses.

Hooper had sued the state last month in an effort to halt his execution, claiming that Oklahoma's three-drug lethal injection protocol was unconstitutional. The lawsuit sought to force the state to have an extra dose of pentobarbital, a sedative, on hand during his execution.

Pentobarbital is the first drug administered during lethal injections in Oklahoma and is used to render a condemned inmate unconscious. It's followed by vecuronium bromide, which stops the inmate's breathing, then potassium chloride to stop the heart.

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