Toledo man's execution the first of its kind in nation

Johnnie R. Baston is seen in a 1994 mug shot.

A historic execution took place Thursday morning for a T oledo man who sat on death row for nearly 17 years after murdering a Toledo shopkeeper.

J ohnnie B aston, 37, was pronounced dead at 10:30 a.m. by Warden Donald Morgan at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. He was the nation's first inmate executed solely with an anesthetic used for assisted suicides and medically induced comas. The execution marked the country's first-ever use of pentobarbital as a stand-alone execution drug.

The Toledo man was put to death for the murder of a convenience store owner C hong H oon M ah. Baston was convicted of killing of Mah, the owner of Continental Wigs N'Things, on March 21, 1994. The South Korean immigrant was found dead inside the business which he owned with his wife. He was found with a gun shot wound to the back of the head, later determined to have been inflicted from a range of two to three inches.

Just 21-years-old at the time of the killing, Baston was found guilty on two counts of aggravated murder and one count of aggravated robbery with a gun specification in Feb. 2005, the same month a panel sentenced the killer to death.

Mah's son Peter Mah told The Associated Press in February that his family is against the death penalty and doesn't believe the ultimate punishment is up to people to decide. The 38-year-old Mah, a Chicago restaurant owner, says executing Baston will not bring his father back and will not make him feel better.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich denied clemency for Baston in early March. Baston reportedly admitted to the killing just days ago, after his clemency was denied.