Sunday November 29th, 2015 2:30PM

Wellons executed just before midnight

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) Georgia has executed a man convicted of raping and killing his 15-year-old neighbor. <br /> <br /> Marcus Wellons, 59, was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m. Tuesday at the state prison in Jackson. He was convicted and sentenced to die in 1993 for the 1989 death of India Roberts, who was a high school sophomore in the suburbs of Atlanta. Authorities say Wellons raped and strangled the teen. <br /> <br /> Here are five things to know about this execution: <br /> <br /> FIRST SINCE BOTCHED EXECUTION IN OKLAHOMA: Wellons' execution was the first in the U.S. since the botched execution of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett on April 29. Lockett's vein collapsed and he died of a heart attack 43 minutes later, even though the execution itself had been halted. Several executions have been put on hold since then. Wellons' execution was set to be quickly followed by two others. John Winfield faced execution one minute after midnight Wednesday in Missouri, and John Ruthell Henry's execution is scheduled for Wednesday night in Florida. <br /> <br /> FIRST IN GEORGIA IN OVER A YEAR: Wellons was the first inmate executed in Georgia since February 2013, when Andrew Allen Cook was executed for the killing of two college students in 1995. Another death row inmate, Warren Lee Hill, was scheduled to be executed last July, but his execution was halted after his lawyers challenged a 2013 state law that prohibits the release of any identifying information about any entity involved in an execution. It was the third time Hill had come within hours of being executed before courts intervened. <br /> <br /> GEORGIA'S EXECUTION METHOD: Georgia switched in July 2012 from a three-drug combination for executions to a single drug method using the sedative pentobarbital. Like many other states, Georgia has had trouble obtaining execution drugs in recent years because major drug makers many based in Europe where opposition to capital punishment is strong began refusing to sell their products if they were to be used in an execution. The Georgia Department of Corrections confirmed that it got the pentobarbital for Wellons' execution from a compounding pharmacy, but the agency won't name the pharmacy, citing the 2013 execution participant secrecy law. <br /> <br /> LEGAL CHALLENGES: Wellons' lawyers filed various legal challenges and appeals seeking to halt his execution in the days leading up to it, but all were denied. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday denied him clemency. <br /> <br /> UNUSUAL APPEAL: Lawyers for Wellons argued in appeals for years that he didn't receive a fair trial because jurors sent raunchily shaped chocolates to the judge and bailiff either near the end of the sentencing phase or immediately after it. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in September 2012 ultimately rejected the appeal, saying it had been thoroughly considered by state and federal courts that had all concluded Wellons got a fair trial.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 10 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 10 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 10 months ago )
Local/State News
Georgia's Richt stepping down following 'mutual' decision
Georgia coach Mark Richt is stepping down after 15 seasons in what is being called a "mutual" decision...
By AccessWDUN Staff
1:05PM ( 1 hour ago )
Hall Co Fire Services hosting bicycle helmet fitting and giveaway event
Hall County Fire Services will be sponsoring a free bike helmet giveaway on Monday.
By Russell Brown
11:54AM ( 2 hours ago )
32,000 acres selected for 2015-2016 prescribed burn season in North Ga.
Fire managers with the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest have begun the first of several prescribed burns as part of the U.S Department of Agriculture's (USDA) "2015-2016 prescribed fire season."
7:34AM ( 6 hours ago )
Run game, defense helps Dogs seal victory over Jackets, 9-win campaign
Mark Richt trotted over to a corner of Bobby Dodd Stadium, where the Georgia band played and the red-clad faithful had nothing but cheers for the embattled coach.
11:59PM ( 14 hours ago )
IRS phone scammers are making calls again in Hall Co.
Hall County authorities say there's been a resurgence of phone calls from scammers posing as IRS agents.
11:59AM ( 1 day ago )