Dennis McGuire is slated for execution Jan. 16.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A federal judge has refused to stop the execution of an Ohio man facing death by a never-tried execution method that the inmate's attorneys allege will cause him agony and terror.

Monday's ruling by Judge Gregory Frost moves condemned killer Dennis McGuire one step closer to execution Thursday by the two-drug method developed after supplies of Ohio's former execution drug dried up.

McGuire's attorneys argue the drugs won't properly sedate McGuire and he'll suffer a syndrome known as air hunger as he struggles to breathe.

The state disputes such a scenario and calls the request an eleventh-hour appeal.

McGuire has also asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the execution, arguing a jury never got to hear the full extent of his chaotic and abusive childhood.

McGuire, 53, is scheduled to die Jan. 16 for the 1989 killing of Joy Stewart in Preble County in western Ohio.

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