McALESTER, Okla. (AP) – A man convicted of battering his girlfriend’s 8-year-old son and stuffing the body in a freezer was put to death Thursday in Oklahoma, while a man in Alabama was executed for fatally stabbing a mother of six.

Donald Lee Gilson, 48, proclaimed his innocence in the death of Shane Coffman before he was injected in Oklahoma with a lethal combination of drugs.

“I’m an innocent man but … I get to go to heaven and I’ll see Shane tonight,” he said in his final statement. He was pronounced dead at 6:19 p.m.

Gilson’s parents, sister, a friend and a pastor witnessed the execution, and about a dozen members of the victim’s family watched from behind a one-way glass.

He became the second person to be executed this year in Oklahoma.

In 1998, Gilson was convicted of first-degree murder in Shane’s death in 1995. An autopsy showed fractures to the boy’s skull, his collarbone, shoulder blades, ribs, legs and spine and a tooth missing from his jaw.

Court records indicate that four other children who lived with Gilson and girlfriend Bertha Jean Coffman in a mobile home in Cleveland County showed abuse, and two of the children were emaciated. One of the children told investigators that Gilson beat the boy with a board and then placed him in a bathtub as punishment for going to the bathroom on a rug.

The girlfriend agreed to testify against Gilson in exchange for a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole.

In Alabama, a man on death row for fatally stabbing a 68-year-old retired textile worker nearly 20 years ago was given a lethal injection at Holman Prison near Atmore.

The six adult children of victim Ella Foy Riley watched as 44-year-old Willie McNair was pronounced dead at 6:17 p.m. He became the fourth person executed in the state this year.

Riley’s daughter and five sons said they were disappointed that McNair never looked at them in his final minutes.

Court records show that Riley was stabbed in the neck with a pocketknife in her Abbeville home after refusing to give $20 to McNair, who was described as a cocaine addict. The blade broke in her neck, and McNair then used a kitchen knife during a violent struggle.

His confession implicated co-defendant Olin Grimsley, who received a life sentence for first-degree robbery for his role in the 1990 attack.


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