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Convicted Murderer Thanks God Before Being Executed in a Nashville Prison

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

MTN Reporter: Kelly Fletcher

February 21, 2020

On Thursday, the life of convicted murderer Nicholas Sutton ended in an electric chair at a Nashville prison.

His death marks the seventh execution of its type in Tennessee since 2018.

Sutton was pronounced dead at 7:26 p.m. at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. In his final statement, he spoke of the power of God and thanked his family, who he requested not to be there to witness his death, for their love and support.

“I’m just grateful to be a servant of God, and I’m looking forward to being in his presence and I thank you.” Those were the last words Sutton ever spoke, then the executioner turned on the electric chair.

In 1979, 18 year old Sutton was convicted for three consecutive murders. He was in highschool and investigators determined he rendered his grandmother, Dorothy Sutton, unconscious and threw her in a river in East Tennessee to drown. The teenager then confessed to the murders of his highschool friend, John Large, and 46 year old Charles Almon. Sutton admitted to having a drug problem and the detectives speculated that Sutton killed them for the money they had.

Sutton didn’t receive a sentence of death until six years later at Morgan County Regional Correctional Facility when he stabbed a fellow inmate, convicted child rapist Carl Estep, to death.

According to Sutton’s lawyers, the late Sutton got sober in prison. He had gone from “a life-taker to a life-saver,” the lawyers said referring to the two times Sutton intervened in a potentially lethal inmate-prison officer altercation.

They noted these events in a clemency application addressed to Governor Bill Lee as well as childhood trauma and neglect that prevailed in his youth.

Ultimately, Sutton’s clemency application was rejected. His last meal was followed by communion.

In his final moments, Sutton said he believed God had made him a new man while he served his time. “He can fix something that’s broken. He fixed me,” said Sutton.


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