AZ death row inmate dies during hearing of halting execution

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(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Joseph Wood died during a hearing that could have halted his execution proceedings, according to the transcript of an Emergency Stay of Execution filed by the convicted murderer's attorneys.

In that transcript, state officials assured a judge during the nearly two-hour execution of an Arizona inmate that he was comatose and not feeling pain at any point.

"I am told Mr. Wood is effectively brain dead and that this is the type of reaction that one gets if they were taken off of life support," said Jeffrey Zick, a state attorney.

Zick was talking to Robin Konrad, one of Wood's attorneys and Neil Wake, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The conversation begins around 3:30 p.m., more than 90 minutes after Wood's execution proceedings began.

Konrad begins the dialogue by stating the reason for the emergency motion. She says that Wood has been "gasping, snorting and unable to breath and not dying."

The three discussed Wood's brain activity and heart rate, questioned if he was feeling any pain and talked about whether it would do any good to stop the execution while it was so far along.

"In talking with the director, who has been in consultation with the IV team leader, there has been no appearance of any pain," Zick said during the hearing.

Before Wake could make a decision, he was informed by Zick that Wood had died.

"Wait. I just - I'm sorry, Judge," said Zick.

"Go ahead," said Wake.

"I just learned that the IV team leader has confirmed Mr. Wood's death," said Zick.

The judge continues, ordering "that the motion is denied as moot for the reasons stated on the record."

Copyright 2014 CBS5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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