A death row inmate who stabbed to death a child rapist while in prison has been executed by electric chair.
Nicholas Todd Sutton was given a death sentence after being convicted of murdering fellow inmate Carl Estep in 1985.
The 58-year-old had yesterday eaten his last meal – fried pork chops, mashed potatoes with gravy, biscuits and peach pie with vanilla ice cream.
He was already serving a life sentence for drowning his grandmother when he was 18 and murdering two men in 1979, when he killed the inmate.
The killer chose to die by electrocution rather than lethal injection.
Supporters had been attempting to overturn his death sentence, arguing he was a changed man.
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Sutton is the fourth inmate the US to executed in 2020, and the first in Tennessee.
He was in prison when he killed child rapist Estep back in 1985 and was sentenced to death in 1986 – serving 34 years on death row.
During a guard shift change, Sutton and his accomplice Thomas Street entered Estep’s cell and stabbed him 38 times in the chest and neck with homemade knives.
Inmates said Estep was a drug dealer behind bars and had sold the men “bad merchandise”.
It is claimed the paedophile refused to fund their money, so the men stole his watch.
But then he threatened to kill Sutton, leading to the murder in which four inmates saw the men enter Estep's cell and heard screams.
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Sutton killed his grandmother Dorothy by knocking out and throwing her into a river in Tennessee's Hamblen County.
He was convicted of murder and then confessed to beating to death his high school friend John Large, 19, a and fatally shooting Charles Almon, 46.
Supporters, in a last-ditch attempt to save his life, sent a clemency petition to Governor Bill Lee.
They include correctional staff at the Riverbend Maximum Security Prison in Nashville, where Sutton has been a maintenance man for 20 years.
He is allowed to carry tools such as hammers and screwdrivers because the guards trust him, said Kevin Sharp, a former judge who is working pro-bono on the clemency petition.
The petition asked the governor to commute Sutton's sentence to life without parole and claims Sutton has saved the lives of at least three prison staff members.
Sutton was executed at at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tennessee and was pronounced dead at 7.26pm (1.26am GMT).
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Campaigners had been attempted to stay his execution despite his horrific crimes.
The great-niece of Charles Almon, one of Sutton's victims, Anna Lee, a Methodist pastor, said executing the convicted killer won't bring his victims.
She said: “He'll be in prison for his whole life, but we just feel like his death would do nothing to erase an earlier tragedy, but would just add a tragedy on top of the first one."
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Former guard Tony Eden wrote in an affidavit that Sutton saved his life when he stopped other inmates from taking him hostage during a riot in 1985.
Mr Eden added: "Nick risked his safety and well-being in order to save me from possible death. I owe my life to Nick Sutton.
"If Nick Sutton was released tomorrow, I would welcome him into my home and invite him to be my neighbour.
"It is my opinion that Nick Sutton, more than anyone else on Tennessee's death row, deserves to live."
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