West quietly executed for Pima County murder

Posted: Updated:

TUCSON, Ariz. -- More than 20 years since his sentencing, convicted killer Thomas West balanced the scales, paying with his life for the 1987 murder of Donald Bortle.

A handful of attempts by his attorneys to stay the execution came up short.

Time ran out for 52-year-old Thomas Paul West late Tuesday morning.

"The execution of inmate Thomas West began at 11:01 and it concluded at at 11:10," said Bill Lamoreaux from the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Some 20 people witnessed the execution, punishment for the beating death of Donald Bortle.

West didn't provide much drama, he declined a last meal and had no final words.

When they were reading the death warrant he just closed his eyes and he never opened them back up then when they administered the drugs even when they said that he was sedated and then when he was put to death.

"It's kind of strange to see someone die without any emotion in the room but that's what it seemed like.  It was, he just used hand signals with his lawyers, his witnesses and it was very calm and very quiet," said execution witness Gregg Paul.

Without family members from the Bortle or West family Tuesday's execution went quietly, quickly and without emotion.

Bortle's son Dave who lives in Oklahoma got word of west's death after the fact from Arizona corrections officials.

"None of my family was there.  We didn't really want to see Mr. West.  None of us went," said David Bortle.

Dave Bortle says he now feels a sense of relief and closure for his dad who would of been 77 years old this year.

I mean obviously you never forget your parents your father or any loved one that you loss but now it's a different way to remember him.