updated 10/13/2004 11:37:37 AM ET 2004-10-13T15:37:37

A man was executed Wednesday for a shotgun slaying during a robbery that netted $15 in 1994.

At age 28, Adremy Dennis was the youngest inmate put to death in Ohio since 1962 and the 15th executed since the state resumed using the death penalty in 1999.

He was pronounced dead by injection at 10:10 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.

Dennis had said the victim, Kurt Kyle, 29, was partly to blame for the slaying because he put his hand in his pocket after being ordered not to move. He also told an Ohio Parole Board member he regretted the robbery brought so little cash and that he allowed any witnesses to survive.

"I'm in God's hands now. Everything's going to be just the way it was intended. I'll see everybody when they get there," Dennis said when allowed to make a final statement.

Challenge to execution method rejected
Defense lawyers said all appeals were exhausted when the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati rejected a request last week to postpone the execution for Dennis' challenge that Ohio's method of lethal injection violates the U.S. Constitution as an unacceptably cruel punishment.

Gov. Bob Taft followed the state parole board's split recommendation Tuesday and denied clemency, saying Dennis did not prove he was remorseful.

Dennis and an accomplice approached Kyle and a friend in front of Kyle's home in Akron. Kyle, a stock race car driver, was celebrating a victory at Barberton Speedway.

The friend, Martin Eberhart, handed over $15 at gunpoint. Kyle searched his pockets, prompting Dennis to shoot him.

"I ain't saying it's all his fault, but why did he move?" Dennis said in a death row interview. "Every day I think about that. It ain't 'Why did you kill that man?' It's 'Why did you move?"'

Blaming the victim
Dennis also blamed Kyle for not cooperating in the robbery when he should have noticed that Dennis was high on drugs and alcohol.

"(Kyle) had to know I was drunk. I know he could smell it on my breath, smell the weed lingering on my clothes," Dennis said.

A Summit County jury convicted him of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and unlawful possession of a gun.

Eberhart survived. Dennis' accomplice, Leroy Lamar Anderson, who was 17 at the time, is serving a life sentence. Ohio prohibits the death penalty for defendants under age 18.

Dennis' mother, Marquita, sobbed while witnessing the execution and was comforted by her aunt.

Dennis talked about family memories in his cell before the execution with his mother and great-aunt, prisons spokeswoman Andrea Dean said. Dennis wrote letters to two imprisoned brothers, smoked cigarettes and talked with spiritual advisers about his Christian faith, she said.

Dennis skipped his final breakfast Wednesday after the special meal he requested Tuesday of fried catfish, lasagna, toasted garlic bread, vanilla ice cream and pecan, pumpkin and sweet potato pie with whipped cream.

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