Enquirer News Update   -   Updated 6:40 p.m.

Brewer executed



By Sharon Turco
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LUCASVILLE - David Brewer, who brutally attacked and murdered a young Springdale bride in 1985, was put to death by lethal injection this morning at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.

The time of death was 10:20 a.m.,prison officials said.

Brewer, 44, killed Sherry Byrne after she apparently rejected his amorous advances. Just months before, Byrne had married a fraternity brother of Brewer's and settled in Springdale, where they planned to raise a family.

Brewer, also married, lived in Centerville, Ohio, and managed a rental appliance company.

He had lured the 21-year-old Byrne to a Sharonville motel on a ruse, then beat her, sexually assaulted her, abducted her and, eventually, stabbed her 15 times on a rural Greene County road. He later led police to her body at a storage locker and confessed.

He pleaded innocent by reason of insanity and was convicted of aggravated murder and kidnapping.

Brewer's execution was the seventh in Ohio since 1999, the year the state resumed executing inmates after reinstating the death penalty in 1981. The U.S. Supreme Court had declared the death penalty unconstitutional in 1972, saying it was applied too arbitrarily.

Monday night, Brewer dined on fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, apple pie and root beer, said Andrea Dean, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. He visited with his family members, then had a restful night, she said.

He was awakened at 6 a.m., and had Rice Krispies and water for breakfast, Dean said.

Outside the Lucasville prison, the Rev. Neil Kookoothe, associate pastor of St. Clarence Roman Catholic Church in North Olmsted, Ohio, arrived early today to set up poster boards that protesters have brought to every execution since Ohio resumed the death penalty in 1999.

The posters had laminated lists of every inmate on Ohio's death row, with those who have died in red. He didn't expect the busloads of schoolchildren who had appeared at executions earlier this year.

"The protests are taking place locally," Kookoothe said.

Friday, Gov. Bob Taft denied Brewer's request for clemency. Defense attorneys had argued that Brewer deserved mercy because he had no criminal record before the slaying and has been a model prisoner.

The death was to be witnessed by Byrne's mother, Myrtle Kaylor of Dayton, Ohio, and Byrne's husband, Joe, now remarried and living in New Jersey with his wife and three children.

Greene County Prosecutor William Schenck, who prosecuted Brewer, also planned to attend the execution, at Joe Byrne's request.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

E-mail sturco@enquirer.com