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Man who raped, killed teen executed

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 5:09 AM
Last updated 8:02 PM
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JACKSON, Ga. — In the first lethal injection since a botched execution in Oklahoma nearly two months ago, a   Georgia   death row inmate convicted in 1993 of raping and murdering his 15-year-old neighbor was executed just before midnight Tuesday.

Wellons  AP
AP
Wellons

Marcus Wellons, 59, was executed by injection after several last-minute appeals were denied. He was pronounced dead shortly before midnight. The execution seemed to go smoothly with no noticeable complications.

Wellons was convicted and sentenced to death in 1993 for the 1989 slaying of his neighbor, India Roberts, a high school sophomore from the Atlanta suburbs. Authorities say Wellons raped and strangled the teen. Police found Roberts' naked body in the woods with cuts on one side of her face and ear, and bruises on her neck.

Before the execution began, Wellons said he hoped his death could give Roberts' family peace.

"I'd like to apologize to the Roberts family for my crimes and ask for forgiveness," Wellons said.

He then thanked his friends and family for their support and said, "I'm going home to be with Jesus."

He hummed as an unidentified clergy member read a prayer and then said, "Amen."

Georgia   uses one drug — the sedative pentobarbital — for executions, while Oklahoma and some other states use three.

From the time he was brought into the room at a prison in Jackson and the tubes for the drugs were placed and all other preparations were done took about 35 minutes. Wellons was lying still with his eyes closed while the drugs were administered. A few minutes into the procedure, Wellons took a couple of heavy breaths and blew air out through his lips as if snoring, but by about 5 minutes into it, there was no visible movement.

The warden left the room at 11:32 p.m. It wasn't immediately clear exactly when the drugs administered but typically it is within a minute or two after the warden leaves.

Several minutes before Wellons was declared dead, a corrections officer standing near the gurney fainted, causing a stir among execution witnesses. A Department of Corrections official said the officer has been present for numerous executions and his fainting was unusual.

Nine executions nationwide have been stayed or postponed since late April, when Oklahoma prison officials halted the execution of Clayton Lockett after noting that the lethal injection drugs weren't being administered into his vein properly. Lockett's punishment was halted and he died of a heart attack several minutes later.

Wellons' execution, set originally for 7 p.m., began nearly four hours later, after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its order refusing to grant a last-minute reprieve.

A federal judge did approve a request by Wellons' lawyers to have an anesthesiologist they selected witness the execution. Wellons' lawyers argued that the state's refusal to provide information about the drug made it impossible to mount a successful challenge based on the Eighth Amendment, which protects against cruel and unusual punishment.

Among his appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court was a challenge to the secretive process used to obtain the drugs from unidentified, loosely regulated compounding pharmacies.

Like many other states,   Georgia   has had trouble obtaining execution drugs in recent years because major drugmakers, many based in Europe where opposition to capital punishment is strong, began refusing to sell their products if they were to be used in executions.

The   Georgia   Department of Corrections confirmed last week that it had secured the pentobarbital for Wellons' execution from a compounding pharmacy, which custom-makes drug preparations.

Tuesday's execution marks the first time the state used a compounded drug in an execution, though other states have done so.

Roberts was killed the morning of Aug. 31, 1989, after she said goodbye to her mother and left for school. Not long afterward, a neighbor heard muffled screams from inside the nearby apartment of Gail Saunders, authorities said.

Authorities say Wellons had been dating Saunders and lived with her at her apartment in the summer of 1989. Later that afternoon, a man driving near a wooded area by the apartment complex called police saying he had seen a man carrying what appeared to be a body in a sheet.

Evidence suggested Wellons forcibly brought Roberts from the kitchen to the bedroom and strangled her, authorities said. An autopsy indicated she had been raped.

A jury found Wellons guilty of rape and murder and recommended the death penalty.

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seenitB4
91139
Points
seenitB4 06/18/14 - 05:30 am
9
2
fatboyhog
2025
Points
fatboyhog 06/18/14 - 05:59 am
12
0
Finally

Justice for the family. Too bad he went much more peacefully than Ms. Roberts did.

avidreader
3383
Points
avidreader 06/18/14 - 06:49 am
11
0
Twenty-One Years!

I am not against the death penalty; however, to keep a man on death row for twenty-one years, and then execute him, is a miscarriage of justice. Why the long wait? Oh, I forgot -- Lawyers and Judges!

nocnoc
45423
Points
nocnoc 06/18/14 - 06:57 am
10
1
TO THE ANTI-DEATH PENALTY GROUPS

Wellons was convicted and sentenced to death in 1993 for the 1989 slaying of his neighbor, India Roberts , a high school sophomore from the Atlanta suburbs.

He even admitted he did it?

An your group protested this execution?

Picking such poor examples, to protest, will only have the support of
the family of the murderer, and likely will never garner much support from the general community.

Sometimes I really think certain groups of people are like Magnets and Steel. They are just attach themselves to something to have some sort of self meaning.

nocnoc
45423
Points
nocnoc 06/18/14 - 07:20 am
7
1
TO ALL THE LAWYERS & THE FAILING COURT SYSTEM

There is NO way this should have taken 21 years to work its way through the courts system.

The Country needs to work out a way to ensure that the Death Penalty Process is streamline, but with the proper protections.

The Country really needs to establish a Special Court System just for Death Penalty cases and appeals.

But there also must be tough standards for imposing the Death Penalty, that MUST include certain evidence types, handling and sources.

Maybe it is time to separate Law Enforcement from Forensics?
This would eliminate one of the major hurdles always spouted by Anti-Death Groups about Deliberate Wrongful Prosecution, and/or suspected State/LEO produced evidence.

Maybe it is time to require an independent review on conviction by a non-LEO/GOV panel. An cap the length of time for appeals Not to exceed 3-5 years after the conviction.

It short somethings got to change, because the system has been broken by a some well meaning, but seriously misguided people.

nocnoc
45423
Points
nocnoc 06/18/14 - 07:25 am
9
0
BTW: 1 last thing

Justice delayed is not justice.

For any Society to understand the punishment penalty for crime.
Justice must be honest and fair to all.

BUT to have meaning it must be quickly applied once a verdict has been reached.

AFjoe
4030
Points
AFjoe 06/18/14 - 07:49 am
7
1
Burn

My final words for you "burn in hell"

jimmymac
43160
Points
jimmymac 06/18/14 - 07:52 am
1
0
Killer
Unpublished

Lawyers have made a mockery of justice keeping vermin alive and lining their pockets with frivolous appeals. Cases like this should have been dealt with in a year.

my.voice
4930
Points
my.voice 06/18/14 - 09:25 am
4
0
I wonder what the authors of

I wonder what the authors of "no cruel and unusual punishment" would have added to this statement in regards to how this animal beat and mutilated this child.

redfish
756
Points
redfish 06/18/14 - 09:44 am
5
0
Keep the bed warm....

We need to have a line of scum criminals waiting to be executed one after another. Georgia, and all other states, should start executing one a day until death row is empty.

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 06/18/14 - 10:30 am
5
0
nocnoc

"Sometimes I really think certain groups of people are like Magnets and Steel. They are just attach themselves to something to have some sort of self meaning."

It's not surprising to me; there are a LOT more sick, twisted people in this world than we realize. Remember, Ted Bundy recieved THOUSANDS of marriage proposals from women, while in prison!! Scott Peterson has also received hundreds of marriage proposals while in prison; and basically, so has every other serial killer!!

I honestly believe some people are simply infatuated with these killers and don't want to see them die!! The world is a better placed today, without the existence of a person, who with free will; could rape, torture and kill a teen girl!! I don't care if he is truly sorry, that is between him and God and those two ONLY!! But he doesn't need to exist in THIS society. No matter how sorry he might be; he still has the ability to torture and kill someone, period!! I could NEVER do that to another human being, EVER!!!

Even if someone harmed one of my children; I might want to kill them but I would do it quick!! There is no way I could torture someone, while they're screaming, begging for help and pleading!! That is COLD, COLD, COLD!!!

Keep executing them Georgia!! And thank you for it!!

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 06/18/14 - 10:32 am
5
0
I also agree that we need to

I also agree that we need to cut the delays WAY down!! 5 years maximum!! And that is because of lawyer's red tape!!

nocnoc
45423
Points
nocnoc 06/18/14 - 12:56 pm
3
0
If the public could access the FACTS presented at the trial?

an see how hideous the murder was, it might just stifle a few of those demanding the abolishment of the Death Penalty.

Or maybe speed up the process.

grinder48
2028
Points
grinder48 06/18/14 - 01:18 pm
0
0
21 vs 15
Unpublished

The girl he raped and murdered lived 15 years. He lived an additional 21 years after being convicted of her rape and murder. Go figure ...

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 06/18/14 - 03:37 pm
3
0
nocnoc

That would work with a few, but those hard leftists will ALWAYS be against the death penalty!! They have no morals; therefore they have more sympathy for the murderer!!

MichaelGH
7
Points
MichaelGH 06/18/14 - 04:07 pm
2
0
Taxpayer Dollars

So we spent 21 years supporting this guy (in prison) just so they could kill him NOW???
A 35 cent bullet would have been much quicker & cheaper and should have done that 20 years ago when he admitted his guilt. :/

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 06/18/14 - 04:43 pm
0
0
I agree
Unpublished

that lethal injection is a cruel punishment. Bring back ol' Sparky.

itsanotherday1
45610
Points
itsanotherday1 06/18/14 - 04:55 pm
2
0
buh-bye......

buh-bye......

Gage Creed
17968
Points
Gage Creed 06/18/14 - 07:06 pm
2
0
Another Botched Execution....

Yep... botched execution because it took 21 years.

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