Tommy Lynn Sells, a convicted serial killer, was executed in Texas Thursday after the Supreme Court rejected his last-minute appeal.
The Supreme Court denied the petition about an hour before the scheduled execution.
Sells is the first inmate put to death by lethal injection with a dose of pentobarbital purchased by Texas authorities to replenish an expired supply. He was executed in Huntsville.
Sells, 49, was convicted of murdering 13-year-old Kaylene Harris, the daughter of an acquaintance, in 1999.
Armed with a butcher knife, he tried to molest the sleeping Kaylene and then stabbed her 16 times — slitting her throat several times — when she tried to escape. He then slit the throat of a friend who was sleeping in the top bunk before fleeing. She survived.
Sells subsequently claimed to have committed as many as 70 murders during two decades as a drifter, though authorities have not corroborated those claims.
Sells made no last statement, Texas officials said.
He was pronounced dead at 6:27 p.m. local time (7:27 p.m. ET), about 13 minutes after the pentobarbital was injected.
Among the witnesses to his execution were two of Sells’ friends and his spiritual adviser, according to San Antonio Express-News reporter Drew Joseph.
Sells closed his eyes as the drug was administered at 6:14 p.m.
According to The Associated Press, as the drug made its way through the inmate's bloodstream, Sells took a few breaths, before his eyes closed and he began to snore. He stopped moving after less than a minute.
Kaylene Harris' father, who witnessed the execution, told the AP the injection was "way more gentle than what he gave out."
"What a great day!" Terry Harris said.