No word of the victim. No acknowledgment, no apologies. Nothing.

Oklahoma State Penitentiary inmate Eric Allen Patton gave a long series of thanks to others in his final waking moments but never acknowledged the woman whose death landed him on death row.

Patton, 37, was pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m. Tuesday, seven minutes after a flow of lethal drugs began flowing into his veins; executed for the 1994 killing of Charlene Kauer in Oklahoma City.

A photograph taken Dec. 10, 1994, shows the 56-year-old Blue Cross and Blue Shield employee smiling beside her husband, Les.

Photographs taken by police six days later show the result of a brutal attack that left her dead.

She’d been stabbed and cut numerous times with multiple knives, some of which were bent or broken in the attack, a barbecue fork and a pair of scissors that were left protruding from her chest.

Charlene Kauer had taken the day off work to do some shopping for Christmas, her favorite holiday, according to court documents.

When Patton, who’d previously done some work for the Kauer family and eaten dinner in their home, showed up at her door asking for money, she gave him $10, after which he grabbed her by the throat and forced his way into the home, dragging her through the house as he searched for more money.

Court documents indicate he later told police all he’d gotten was $14.

Patton never mentioned his crime as he lay strapped to a gurney in the state’s execution chamber, but thanked his legal team, his spiritual advisors and Department of Corrections personnel, including officers who, he said, “have been like a family to me.

“Warden Sirmons has been good to us here and I want to thank him for all he’s done, and is still doing, right up ’til today.

“… I’ve had a good life here on Earth. It’s been a blessing. It’s been a blast.”

Les Kauer did not attend the execution, nor did any other members of the victim’s family.

“This event just stirs up a lot of old memories,” Kauer said.

Patton was the first Oklahoma inmate executed under a new protocol that requires a larger dose of anesthesia to be given to an inmate during execution.

He’d challenged lethal injection as a method of execution because, he said, inmates might be subjected to pain during the process.

A federal judge rejected his challenge, one of many similar ones made across the country, but the Oklahoma DOC changed its protocol anyway.

When the drugs began to flow into his arms Tuesday evening Patton’s eyes closed and he exhaled deeply one time. Moments later his chest stopped moving, indicating he’d stopped breathing.

He did not move again.

Patton’s last meal, a large pepperoni pizza with sausage and mushrooms and a large grape soda, had been served to him at noon.

The fourth Oklahoma execution of 2006 is scheduled for Thursday evening, when James Patrick Malicoat is to be killed for the 1997 beating death of his 13-month-old daughter.

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