Riley Noel Executed

July 9, 2003 - Posted at: 9:16 p.m. CDT

VARNER, Ark. -- Condemned triple-murderer Riley Dobi Noel's execution is complete.

Noel was pronounced dead at 9:07 p.m. Wednesday at the Cummins Unit prison at Varner. He was executed by lethal injection for the slayings of three children in southwest Little Rock in 1995.

In his final statement, Noel said: "I want my family to know I love them. I want my kids to know I love Jesus."

Noel was pronounced dead six minutes after the execution began, making it one of the quickest on record. He seemed startled at first and blew out a pair of quick breaths, but all motion stopped within a minute.

Kyle Jones -- whose 17-year-old fiance Marcell Young was one of Noel's victims -- witnessed the execution. Jones says Noel made the decision to kill and he's happy with the state's decision to execute Noel.

The US Supreme Court refused a request for a stay of execution earlier today. Noel's lawyer argued that the execution should be delayed so Noel could undergo medical tests not available at the time of his trial to show he had a brain disorder. The court has held that it is unconstitutionally cruel to execute the mentally retarded.

State lawyers argued that Noel's previous mental evaluations show no abnormalities that would prevent his execution and that the law does not allow for automatic delays just because new medical procedures are available.

Also Wednesday, Governor Huckabee rejected a plea for clemency. He had signed the death warrant in May.

Noel was moved to a cell adjacent to the execution chamber earlier this week. He was visited by a spiritual adviser and his lawyers Wednesday, and spoke with his family by telephone.

Meanwhile, the mother of the three children killed by Noel eight years ago says she's haunted by their screams.

But Mary Hussain told a Little Rock television station that she has forgiven Noel for the slayings. Noel was convicted of murdering her three children execution-style in their kitchen in 1995.

Prosecutors say Noel thought another of Hussain's daughters had set up the murder of his brother a week earlier.

Hussain says she burns three candles in her front window, one for each child, and has their pictures on her wall. She says she's been on drugs and alcohol since the killings.

Hussain -- who was in another part of the house when her children were killed -- says she sometimes has seizures when she thinks about finding their bodies.

But Hussain says thoughts of God and her children calm her anger.

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