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Nevada inmate whose execution was twice called off found dead in cell

Convicted killer Scott Raymond Dozier, 48, declared two years ago that he wanted to die, but his execution was blocked twice.
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LAS VEGAS — A twice-convicted murderer who declared two years ago that he wanted to die, but whose execution was postponed twice, was found dead Saturday from an apparent hanging, Nevada state officials said.

Scott Raymond Dozier, 48, was found unresponsive in his death-row cell at the state's maximum-security prison in Ely, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Santina said.

Dozier gave up appeals and insisted the state carry out the death sentence he received in 2007 for separate killings of methamphetamine drug trade associates in 2002 in Phoenix and Las Vegas.

His lethal injection was scheduled twice, only to be called off amid court fights over a never-before-tried, three-drug combination that Nevada planned to use, including the powerful opioid fentanyl.

Challenges by drug companies that don't want their products used in an execution are still pending in state courts in Las Vegas and the Nevada Supreme Court.

Last month, state lawyers revealed in a federal lawsuit that Dozier had tried several methods to kill himself in recent months, including attempting to obtain drops of a deadly drug on a piece of paper sent through prison mail.

Prison officials also reported intercepting mail from Dozier's sister with instructions how to cut the jugular vein in his neck, and they said Dozier surrendered razor blades he somehow secured behind bars.

The filings were in a lawsuit that challenged Dozier's housing on suicide watch in an isolation cell.

Dozier was housed Saturday in a regular solo cell where Santina said he apparently hanged himself. He was found at 4:35 p.m.

The prisons spokeswoman said she didn't immediately know when Dozier had last been seen by guards.

Santina said that would be part of investigations by the department's inspector general and the White Pine County sheriff's office.