Eric Robert to be executed next week - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Eric Robert to be executed next week

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The state is preparing to execute Eric Robert next week.

He was convicted in the murder of correctional officer Ronald "RJ" Johnson during a failed prison escape last year.

Robert was sentenced to death by lethal injection.

That sentence could be carried out as early as 12:01 Sunday morning.

KSFY News toured the holding cell and death chamber where the execution will take place.

The holding cell where Robert will await his execution was small but not cramped.  There was a sink, a toilet and a cot.

The death chamber is next to the row of holding cells.

The area had a very clinical smell, very sterile.  In fact the death chamber was slightly larger than the size of a doctor's office.

Eric Robert will find himself strapped into these restraints sometime next week.

Robert pleaded guilty to killing correctional officer Ronald "RJ" Johnson during an attempted prison escape last year.

The state upheld his death sentence in August, now he is scheduled to die by lethal injection.

Robert is serving on death row at the Jamison annex of the South Dakota state penitentiary.

Three days before his execution date, officials will take Robert to a holding cell next to the death chamber.

When the time comes for execution, there will only be two other people in the chamber with Robert, the warden and another prison staff member.

Their job is to keep an eye on the atomic clocks, and take notes of the events.

The prison will bring in witnesses from Johnson's family and Robert's family.

They'll be brought in at different times and view the execution from separate chambers so they won't have to face each other.

Witnesses from the two families, as well as two media witnesses, will be able to watch the execution from four separate chambers.

And just behind this one-way mirror is the chemical room where the lethal drugs will be administered to Robert.

We asked Governor Daugaard about Robert's upcoming execution.

His office would not comment but released a statement.

"The governor understands the gravity of an execution, and he will not do any media interviews on the coming executions."

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