Charles Warner was executed for the murder of his girlfriend’s 11-month-old daughter, Adrianna Waller, which occurred while she was away from their home in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
On Aug. 22, 1997, Adrianna was left in Warner’s care while her mother went to the grocery store. When she returned two hours later, she noticed her daughter wasn’t breathing.
Adrianna was transported to Mercy Health Center, where she was pronounced dead shortly after she arrived, according to The Daily Oklahoman.
A spokesperson stated that hospital authorities were reluctant to go into details about the extent of Adrianna’s injuries. And due to her age, they didn’t want to release her cause of death.
Adrianna was then classified as a patient with no information.
It wasn’t until her body was turned over to the medical examiner that investigators learned what really happened to Adrianna.
Prosecutors said her autopsy showed that she had a “six-inch skull fracture, three broken ribs, a broken jaw, a broken leg, a bruised lung, and a lacerated liver and spleen.”
She was also sexually assaulted.
Police learned through an investigation that when Warner, who was 30 years old at the time, was left alone with Adrianna, he began watching an adult movie.
When he became sexually aroused, prosecutors said he “savagely” raped Adrianna, who then began screaming and crying. Warner said her screams made him mad, and that’s when he brutally beat her.
On Aug. 23, 1997, Warner was arrested and booked into the Oklahoma County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and first-degree rape.
His two children, who were living with him and Adrianna’s family, were placed in the custody of the Department of Human Services.
During the trial, jurors heard testimony from Warner’s son, who was 7 years old at the time. The boy stated that he saw his father “shake and throw the baby on previous occasions.”
Warner was also accused of physically and sexually assaulting his 5-year-old, disabled daughter since she was three.
According to a report, on Aug. 25, 1997, three days after Adrianna was murdered, a physician assistant at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center discovered scars on the girl’s face, shoulder, and back.
Warner’s ex-wife also testified and discussed the physical abuse she endured in their relationship.
While pregnant with their first child, she claimed that Warner “choked her until she passed out.” And during her second pregnancy, she said he body-slammed her onto the ground.
Prosecutors asked for a lesser sentence, claiming that if he spent the rest of his life in prison, he would be terrified.
The assistant district attorney was in favor of the death penalty. He told the jurors that “no other punishment, in this case, is justice. Show him the same mercy he showed Adrianna Waller.”
According to KTLA 5, the victim’s mother told the media that she didn’t want Warner to be sentenced to death.
She said, “If they truly want to honor me, then they will do away with the death penalty for him. And they will give him life in prison without the possibility of parole because that’s the only thing that’s going to honor me.”
“That would dishonor my daughter, it would dishonor me and everything I believe in … When he dies, I want it to be because it’s his time, not because he’s been executed due to what happened to me and my child.”
Following a three-day trial in March 1999, which was before the Oklahoma County District Judge, a jury deliberated for an hour before finding Warner guilty of raping and murdering Adrianna.
The next day, Warner was sentenced to death for murder and 999 years for rape.
On April 20, 2001, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals announced that Warner would be granted a new trial.
The appellate court stated that “the trial judge erred in denying a defense motion to dismiss the seating of a juror who knew some of the detectives in the case.”
The Court of Criminal Appeals also stated that “the judge erred in permitting the seating of another potential juror who expressed a bias toward the death penalty.”
At his second trial, Warner was found guilty and sentenced to death.
Warner was scheduled to die by lethal injection on April 29, 2014, but several hours before it was to begin, it was postponed due to the botched execution of 38-year-old Clayton Derrell Lockett.
Lockett lay unconscious on the gurney, but he sat up minutes later and began to shake.
Forty-three minutes later, Lockett was pronounced dead.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallen stated that any upcoming executions would be delayed until the investigation into Lockett’s execution was complete.
Warner’s execution was delayed for more than eight months.
On Jan. 15, 2015, Warner was put to death by lethal injection. The Norman Transcript reported that a journalist with the McAlester News-Capital claimed that Warner didn’t appear to have suffered, as he didn’t show any signs of visible distress during the execution.
However, according to NPR, the wrong drug was used in his 18-minute execution at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
Warner’s autopsy report later showed that potassium acetate was used in lieu of potassium chloride, which is said to violate the DOC’s lethal injection protocol.
When the blinds went up around 7:08 p.m., Warner said: “Before I give my final statement, I’ll tell you they poked me five times. It hurts. It feels like acid.”
He then gave his final statement.
“I’m sorry for all the pain that was caused,” Warner said. “I’m not a monster. I didn’t do everything they said I did.”
“I love people, love my family. I love Jesus.”
According to witnesses, the microphone in the death chamber was turned off after Warner said his last words, but they could hear him saying, “My body is on fire. No one should go through this. I’m not afraid to die. We’re all going to die.”
Several minutes later, they could hear him breathing heavily, and there was a “slight twitch in his neck,” according to KOKH FOX 25 News.
At 7:26 p.m., Warner was pronounced dead. He was 47 years old.