The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by a death row inmate claiming he could not be killed humanely by lethal injection because he was obese. On Tuesday, October 14, 5-foot-7, 267-pound Richard Cooey, 41, died at 10:28 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, confirmed a spokesman with the state attorney general's office. There were no immediate reports of difficulties finding suitable veins to deliver the lethal injection. Cooey also previously requested that the state use a single drug rather than a three-drug combination, and asked for a stay of execution pending a hearing on that motion, both of which were denied.

Cooey's attorneys had argued that his weight problem would make it difficult for prison staff to access a vein for lethal injection, thereby causing the death to be painful and agonizing. Cooey is 75 pounds heavier than when he went to death row — the result of prison food and 23-hour-a-day confinement, his lawyers said. Cooey received a pre-execution exam early Tuesday where he was cleared as eligible for injection.

Cooey and a co-defendant were convicted for brutally raping and slaying University of Akron students Dawn McCreery, 20, and Wendy Offredo, 21, in September 1986. His co-defendant was 17 at the time and was sentenced to life in prison because of his age.