Nicholas Sutton, Tennessee
February 20, 2020
Nicholas Todd Sutton was executed by the state of Tennessee on Thursday, February 20, 2020. Nicholas was pronounced dead at 7:26 pm local time, inside the execution chamber at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institute in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 58 years of age and was executed for the murder of fellow inmate, Carl Estep on January 15, 1985, at the Morgan County Regional Correctional Facility in Wartburg, Tennessee. Nicholas spent the last 33 years of his life on Tennessee’s death row.
Nicholas was raised in an unstable and violent household. His father was mentally ill and institutionalized for part of Nicholas’ childhood. His mother abandoned him when he was young. As a young teen, Nicholas used several different drugs and had several altercations with the police. He dropped out of school in the 11th grade, although he obtained a GED in 1978. Nicholas briefly joined the Navy when he was 17 years of age, but he was unable to adjust to military life and was quickly given an honorable discharge.
In 1979, the age of 18, Nicholas was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his grandmother. He had beaten her to death after she discovered he had murdered two other people.
On January 15, 1985, Nicholas Sutton, along with Thomas Street and Charles Freeman, entered the cell of Carl Estep. Other inmates observed the three entering the cell and heard Carl scream while the three were inside. Guards discovered Carl around 10 am that day. Carl had been stabbed 38 times. A witness testified that he had watched Sutton stab Carl through the window of the cell. Freeman was eventually acquitted of the crime, while Sutton and Street were convicted. Sutton was sentenced to death and Street was sentenced to life in prison.
Nicholas chose to be executed by electrocution instead of lethal injection. Inmates sentenced to death before 1999, are eligible to choose if they want to be executed by lethal injection or the electric chair.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Carl Estep and for all those affected by Nicholas’ crimes. Please pray for strength for the family of Nicholas.
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