BOISE, Idaho (AP) â€” Idaho prison officials executed Paul Ezra Rhoades on Friday for his role in the 1987 murders of two women, marking the state's first execution in 17 years.
Rhoades, 54, was declared dead at 9:15 a.m. at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution after being administered three separate drugs that make up the state's new lethal injection protocol.
In his final statement, Rhoades said goodbye to his mother, apologized for one of the murders he was convicted of, and forgave state officials for the execution.
Live updates of Rhoades execution
BOISE â€“Â Paul Ezra Rhoades is scheduled to be executed at 8:03 a.m. today. Morning News Editor Bob Hudson and other media representatives arrived at the prison in Boise at 4 a.m.
According to a press release from the Idaho Department of Corrections Rhoade's was offered the same meal as all other maximum security prisoners last night. That meal included hot dogs, sauerkraut, mustard, ketchup, onions, relish, baked beans, veggie sticks, ranch dressing, fruit with gelatin and strawberry ice cream cups.
IDOC Director Brent Reinke concluded a short news briefing around 6:15 a.m. Plans for the execution are on schedule.
We will bring you updated information right here throughout the morning.
UPDATED 6:47 a.m. - Four Media witnesses to the execution were just selected by random drawing. The Idaho Department of Correction's is preparing a van to transport reporters from the media center to the demonstration area.
UPDATED 6:55 a.m - The Associated Press (AP) is reported a crowd of 12 demonstrators have gathered at the entrance of Idaho's Maximum Security Institution to protest the execution.
UPDATED 6:57 a.m. - There are two phones in the Execution Chamber. A red phone for governor intervention and a black phone for judicial intervention.
UPDATED 7:09 a.m. - News media witnesses preparing to be transported to Idaho Maximum Security Institution. Rhoades is scheduled to be moved from his isolation cell to the execution chamber at 7:20 a.m.
7:12 a.m. - AP is reporting a crowd of nearly three dozen have gathered outside the entrance of Idaho's Maximum Security Institution
7:40 a.m. - As Rhoades' execution draws ever nearer IDOC Director Brent Reinke described Rhoades' demeanor as "very serious."
7:42 a.m. - Reports that crowd of protestors has grown to around 50. Media Witnesses will be escorted into view the execution chamber at 7:45 a.m.
7:44 a.m. - Matt Standal of KTRV in Boise tells the Morning News Rhoades has been with his attorney and spiritual advisor.
7:46 a.m. - Four media witnesses chosen to view the execution should now be in the execution chamber. Family members for Stacy Baldwin, Susan Michelbacher, and Nolan Haddon are in attendance.
8:01 a.m. - Editor Bob Hudson says a "rolling fog has added to the grimness of the day."
8:03 a.m. - According to the execution schedule the warden will ask offender if he wishes to make a final statement. No word yet as to Rhoade's final statement.
BREAKING NOW: The EXECUTION HAS BEEN DELAYED. Action in state court filed overnight. Earliest execution will now be 9 a.m. We are working to bring you more information.
8:16 a.m. - Hudson is reporting that witnesses remain in the viewing area, however Rhoades remains in his isolation cell.
8:18 a.m. - Hudson is reporting that the "countdown is back on schedule."
UPDATED 8:20 a.m. - Spokesman Jeff Ray says a 4th District Judge has not issued a stay of the execution, but is reviewing a motion filed late Thursday. Ray did not provide any additional details on the judicial review. Ray says the execution procedure will resume once the judge rules on the motion.
Updated 8:44 - Hudson just confirmed that Rhoades has not been taken to the execution chamber at all today but procedure have resumed and execution is expected sometime after 9 a.m.
UPDATED 8:53 a.m. - Execution now scheduled for 9:05 a.m.
UPDATED 8:59 a.m. - Now we're looking at more like 9:30 a.m. But, all reports indicate it will move forward.
UPDATED 9:12 a.m. - We are receiving word that the execution is just minutes away from happening. However, Hudson who is in the media center, can not confirm this. He is awaiting word from Spokesman Jeff Ray.
BREAKING NOW - PAUL EZRA RHOADES WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT 9:15 a.m.
UPDATED: 9:25 a.m. - Hudson says "Rhoades death completes a 24-year wait for justice for his victim's families."
UPDATED: 9:30 a.m. - Spokesman Jeff Ray released that Rhoades' body will be cremated. The remains will be given to Mr. Rhoadesâ€™ attorney. Ray is expected to address reporters soon and answer questions about the last minute delay.
UPDATED 9:40 a.m. - Press conference underway in Boise. Attorney General Larry Wasden explains the delay. Motion for stay filed at 3 a.m. Motion claimed attorney's representing Rhoades were not qualified. Motion filed by an attorney from Mountain Home, Idaho.
UPDATED 9:43 a.m. - Wasden characterizes motion as "totally unexpected."
UPDATED 9:50 a.m. - Rebecca Boone with AP reports that Rhoades apologized to Susan Michelbacher's husband before death, but took no responsibility for the Susan Baldwin or Nolan Haddon murders.
UPDATED 9:53 a.m. - Michelbacher family friends says "the devil has gone home."
UPDATED 9:56 a.m - Reporter Ruth Brown, a media witness to the execution, said "it was exactly what I expected."
UPDATED 10:09 a.m - It is reported that in Rhoades' final statement he said goodbye to his mother and told prison staff he forgave them.
UPDATED 10:15 a.m. - Our live coverage of the Rhoades execution is now concluded. See tomorrow's Morning News for full story and watch www.am-news.com for updates throughout the day including the response from families and officials in attendance.