Across Georgia

Execution date set for man in 1978 attack

 

ATLANTA --- A man condemned to death three separate times for the killing of a 78-year-old woman who was raped in her Savannah apartment will be executed next month, the state Attorney General's office announced Thursday.

The execution date of Roy Willard Blankenship was set just two days after Georgia put to death Emmanuel Hammond for the 1988 murder of a 27-year-old preschool teacher.

Blankenship is set to die at 7 p.m. on Feb. 9 at the state prison in Jackson.

Blankenship was convicted of the 1978 murder of Sarah Mims Bowen, who died of heart failure during the attack. Her bloody, nude body was discovered by friends and neighbors after the attack, and police were able to trace footsteps to the area where Blankenship lived across the street. They also matched blood scrapings and seminal fluid to Bowen.

Chambliss named to intelligence post

ATLANTA --- Saxby Chambliss has been named as vice chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

The powerful new post will put Georgia's senior senator at the center of the debate over national security.

Chambliss is relinquishing his role as ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee, seen as a blow to the state's powerful farming interests.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the intelligence post "selfless" since much of the committee's work is classified and cannot be trumpeted at home to constituents.

Chambliss said his priorities will be to ensure the U.S. continues to disrupt terrorist plots and to give the intelligence community the tools and resources it needs.