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Nevada prisons near finalizing execution plans

Updated June 3, 2021 - 5:19 pm

Within days, prison officials could finalize their execution protocol and disclose the lethal injection cocktail planned for the capital punishment of Zane Floyd, sentenced to die for killing four inside a Las Vegas grocery store.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Randall Gilmer, who represents the Nevada Department of Corrections, said during a federal court hearing Thursday that Floyd and his attorneys would have access to the plans by next week, or at least in two weeks.

Federal Public Defenders David Anthony and Brad Levenson have asked U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware to stay Floyd’s execution, as prison officials have kept details surrounding the plans secret.

“I would like to know the actual drugs as soon as possible,” Anthony told Boulware.

But the types of drugs prison officials want to use and other details of how the state’s first execution in 15 years would be carried out may not be available to the public for weeks.

On Friday, prosecutors are expected to ask a state court judge for an order to execute Floyd at the end of next month.

But Boulware said Thursday that he could decide on a stay of execution within two weeks.

“I’m going to issue my decision as quickly as possible,” the judge said. “It cannot be overstated how significant this timing is.”

Floyd, now 45, received the death sentence after killing four and seriously wounding another in a 1999 shooting at an Albertsons on West Sahara Avenue.

A jury convicted Floyd about a year after he used a 12-gauge shotgun to fatally shoot four employees — Lucy Tarantino, 60, Thomas Darnell, 40, Chuck Leos, 40, and Dennis “Troy” Sargent, 31 — inside the grocery store. Zachary Emenegger, 21, was shot twice but survived after playing dead.

Floyd also was found guilty of repeatedly raping a woman in a guesthouse at his parents’ home before the shooting.

The Clark County District Attorney’s pursuit of Floyd’s execution came as state lawmakers considered abolishing capital punishment. Assembly Bill 395, which would have banned executions and commuted the sentences of those on death row to life in prison without parole, passed in the Assembly. But the bill failed last month after Gov. Steve Sisolak said he did not support a full repeal of the death penalty.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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