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April 30th, 2014
04:51 AM ET

Oklahoma Stops Execution After Botching Drug Delivery; Inmate Dies

A vein on an Oklahoma inmate "exploded" in the middle of his execution Tuesday, prompting authorities to abruptly halt the process and call off another execution later in the day as they try to figure out what went wrong.

The inmate, Clayton Lockett, died 43 minutes after the first injection was administered - according to reporter Courtney Francisco ofCNN affiliate KFOR who witnessed the ordeal - of an apparent heart attack, Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton said.

That first drug, midazolam, is supposed to render a person unconscious. Seven minutes later, Lockett was still conscious. About 16 minutes in, after his mouth and then his head moved, he seemingly tried to get up and tried to talk, saying "man" aloud, according to the KFOR account.

We have the latest on "Early Start," and you can see more on this story HERE.

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Filed under: death penalty • Oklahoma
February 26th, 2014
06:46 AM ET

Oklahoma Father Dies in Police Encounter After Mother Slaps Daughter

It was supposed to be a fun family outing to the movies, but then Nair Rodriguez' 19-year-old daughter got under her skin. They fought, she said, and she slapped her daughter.

Moments later, police arrived on a domestic dispute call at the Moore, Oklahoma, theater and confronted - not Nair Rodriguez - but her husband Luis. They took him down, and after the encounter on February 15, he was dead.

Cell phone video taken by his wife and released this week shows the final minutes of the takedown.

Nair Rodriguez accuses officers of brutality. Police say they were following protocol and used no undue force.

Argument, upset

The mother-daughter spat upset the mother so badly that she bolted for the family car. Her husband Luis followed her to calm her down, family attorney Michael Brooks-Jimenez told reporters.

That's when a group of police and theater security officers turned up, he said.

What happened next is disputed.

His wife has said officers beat Luis Rodriguez, CNN affiliate KFOR reported. But Moore Police Chief Jerry Stillings calls the actions of his officers "reasonable."

He would not go in to much detail and said an investigation is underway. But he mentioned that police used pepper spray, CNN affiliate KOCO reported.

Luis Rodriguez ended up on the ground with five men pinning him down, and wife Nair pulled out a cell phone.

Her fearful cries fill the recording.

"Luis! Luis!" she calls out frantically. Her husband does not respond, does not appear to move.

She calls to the officers to assure her that he is alright.

"Please somebody tell me that he is alive," she implores. "He is not moving."

The officers appear calm. One tells her that he will talk to her, once they are finished securing her husband.

Then one walks over to the camera. He tells her that police have called in a medical unit to check on her husband.

It wasn't him

The officer says police received a call about domestic violence before confronting her husband.

It wasn't him, Nair Rodriguez tells him. "I hit my daughter," she says. She wants to know why they have pinned down her husband.

"He refused to give his ID," the officer said. "He got combative."

She notices blood on the officer. "Is he bleeding?" She demands to know.

"I'm bleeding; that's me," the officer says.

An ambulance can be seen in the background, and Luis Rodriguez is lifted onto a stretcher.

The video ends shortly afterward.

Cause of death

An autopsy may reveal more about why Luis Rodriguez died, and surveillance camera footage of the encounter in the movie theater parking lot may reveal what happened before his wife pulled out her cell phone camera.

What police describe as normal procedure, lawyer Brooks-Jimenez describes it as something brutal and possibly deadly.

Pepper spray to the face and the weight of five men on top of him.

CNN has reached out to Brooks-Jimenez for further comment and has placed calls to the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation.

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Filed under: Oklahoma
May 24th, 2013
10:35 AM ET

Funerals begin in Oklahoma tornado zone as residents remember and rebuild – CNN's Pamela Brown reports

The first of 24 funerals for Oklahoma storm victims - honoring the brief life of nine-year-old Antonia Candelaria, who died at Plaza Towers Elementary school.

Others during this time of sadness are looking for signs of hope. Signs that a wounded and dazed community is beginning to pick up the pieces and look to the future.

– CNN's Pamela Brown reports


Filed under: Oklahoma • Weather
May 23rd, 2013
07:29 AM ET

Moore Medical Center's Dr. Stephanie Barnhardt describes sheltering from the tornado: 'We were still treating patients'

Dr. Stephanie Barnhardt of the Moore Medical Center describes sheltering from the EF5 tornado. Dr. Barnhardt says doctors were still treating patients until they saw the tornado was headed in their direction.

"The power went out and at that point, we told the patients to get the mattresses," Dr. Barnhardt says. "We were handing out blankets and sat on the floor and ducked for cover."

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Filed under: Oklahoma • Tornado
May 23rd, 2013
06:58 AM ET

Rescuer devastated by bodies discovered at Plaza Towers Elementary School – Pamela Brown reports

Rescuer Adam Baker discovered unspeakable horrors when he rushed to search for survivors, including his nephew, at Plaza Towers Elementary School. Pamela Brown says, "He encountered four children buried under the massive debris of the collapsed school, suffocated by its sheer weight."

Baker pulled them out and says he "tried to put them in a row as respectfully" as he could. He says it was terrible, but it was his duty as an American."It's a hole in your heart just to see these little broken bodies," Baker says.

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Filed under: Oklahoma • Tornado
May 23rd, 2013
06:40 AM ET

John King tours the devastation in what remains of the Plaza Towers Elementary School

The Plaza Towers Elementary School took a direct hit from the tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma on Monday afternoon. As a result, the lives of seven children were taken. John King tours the school, now in ruins, with Sgt. Jeremy Lewis of the Moore, Oklahoma Police Department.

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Filed under: Oklahoma • Tornado
May 23rd, 2013
06:34 AM ET

After the disaster; the work ahead – John Berman reports from Moore, OK

John Berman has the latest on the devastation and the work that lies ahead for the town of Moore, OK.

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Filed under: Oklahoma • Tornado
May 22nd, 2013
11:47 AM ET

Tornado slams congressman's hometown

Congressman Tom Cole is on 'Early Start' talking with John Berman about the devastation that the tornado caused in his district and home town. The Congressman says that he hopes a non-partisan effort in Washington D.C . is made to get disaster relief to the people effected by the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.

On a personal note, Moore Oklahoma is Congressman Cole's hometown; he even served as the groundskeeper at the Plaza Towers Elementary School when he was in college. He said when he went back and surveyed the damage of the school, and he said he 'could not 'recognize' where he was. There was no references left of the school.


Filed under: Oklahoma • Tornado
May 22nd, 2013
11:34 AM ET

Woman survived the tornado with her six day old baby boy: CNN's Pamela Brown reports

 CNN's Pamela Brown reports one woman's heroic journey to escape the devastating tornado in Moore, Oklahoma after giving birth five days prior. Her and her five-day old little boy escaped the tornado unharmed, however their home was destroyed.


Filed under: Oklahoma • Tornado
May 22nd, 2013
11:25 AM ET

Residents in Moore, Oklahoma in desperate search for pets: CNN's Stephanie Elam reports

CNN's Stephanie Elam brings us one woman's desperate search to locate her beloved dog 'Sugar.'


Filed under: Oklahoma • Tornado
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