Brandon Bernard was executed in the federal death chamber Thursday night, shortly after the Supreme Court denied his request for a delay.
Associated Press reporter Mike Balsamo confirmed the 40-year-old was pronounced dead at around 9:30 p.m. Bernard, who died by lethal injection, is the ninth inmate to be executed by the federal government in 2020; the first was carried out in mid-July, following a 17-year hiatus on federal executions.
Bernard's attorney, Robert Owen, released a statement Thursday night, calling the execution "a stain on American's criminal justice system."
"Many things went wrong to put Brandon on death row, including egregious government misconduct in concealing evidence and misleading the jury, which the courts refused to remedy," he said. "Before Brandon's execution, five of the jurors who sentenced him to death said they no longer stood by that verdict. They joined the lead appellate prosecutor on Brandon's case in urging President Trump to commute his death sentence to life without parole. Brandon's execution is a stain on America's criminal justice system."
According to the AP, Bernard was one of five individuals who were charged in connection to the 1999 murders of Todd and Stacie Bagley. Benard and the other four teenagers allegedly robbed and abducted the couple as they were leaving Sunday service. Nineteen-year-old accomplice Christopher Vialva is said to have shot at the Bagleys in their car, right before Bernard allegedly set the vehicle on fire. Authorities say Todd was killed by a gunshot wound, while Stacie's cause of death was smoke inhalation.
Bernard was 18 when he received the death sentence for his involvement in the crime. Vialva was executed by lethal injection back in September.
"I'm sorry ... I wish I could take it all back, but I can't," Bernard said to the victims' families during his three-minute last words. "That's the only words that I can say that completely capture how I feel now and how I felt that day."
In the months leading up to Bernard's death, lawmakers, celebrities, and some jurors of the case called on the Trump administration to stop the execution. Kim Kardashian was among Bernard's most high-profile advocates. She reflected on Bernard's execution in a series of emotional tweets Thursday night, and recalled the last conversation she had him.
Four more federal executions are scheduled to take place during Trump's last weeks in office. The next is scheduled to be carried out Friday.