BOP ready to proceed with execution if courts allow

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Bureau of Federal Prisons said it is ready to proceed with the execution of Daniel Lewis Lee Monday if the courts allow it to move forward.

After a U.S. district judge on Monday blocked four upcoming executions, including Lee’s, the BOP continued its preparations in case the stay was lifted last minute.

Lee, convicted in Arkansas of the 1996 killings of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife and her 8-year-old daughter, was scheduled to be executed at 4 p.m.

As of 5:25 p.m. Monday, the BOP was still awaiting a decision. No timeline was given.

According to reports, Lee spoke with his spiritual advisor, described as an Appalachian Pagan minister.

Media witnesses to the execution, including WTWO/WAWV’s own Dana Winklepleck, made their way to the prison at 2 p.m. Monday in case a decision was made to proceed with the executions.

For a short time, they waited in a van at the execution chamber before heading back to a media room at the prison.

The execution chamber is a building of its own that is not used for any other purpose. It is the same building where Timothy McVeigh was executed in June 2001.

Witnesses allowed at the execution include media and government witnesses as well as witnesses from the victims’ family and those there for the inmate; all witnesses groups will be placed in separate rooms overlooking the death chamber. Media witnesses will not be able to see other witnesses.

Lee will be given the opportunity to make a final statement if he chooses to. No word has been given on whether he has had a last meal, or what the meal was scheduled to be.

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