Murderer scheduled for lethal injection

ATLANTA --- It was three days before Christmas in 1988 that William Earl Lynd shot his live-in girlfriend three times in the head, killing her and then burying her body in a shallow grave.

Almost two decades later, he's scheduled to be put to death for the slaying. In the process, Mr. Lynd could become the first condemned prisoner in the country to die by lethal injection since September, when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider arguments by two Kentucky inmates that the three-drug procedure violated the ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The court last month upheld lethal injection, lifting what had become a seven-month pause in executions.

Mr. Lynd is scheduled to be executed Tuesday at 7 p.m. Mississippi's attorney general has asked that Earl Wesley Berry be executed today for a 1987 murder, but the state's courts have not yet approved the request.

Today, Mr. Lynd's lawyers will ask the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to spare his life.

His legal team doesn't dispute that Mr. Lynd, now 53, killed Ginger Moore. But they say the crime was not premeditated. The couple was high on valium, marijuana and alcohol on the day of shooting, which took place after the couple argued.

Prosecutors allege that Mr. Lynd shot Ms. Moore in the face with a .32 caliber Derringer and she collapsed in their home. Ms. Moore regained consciousness, staggering out on to the porch. Mr. Lynd then allegedly shot her again and stuffed her into the trunk of her car and took a drive.

While he parked the car and dozed off, authorities say Ms. Moore once again regained consciousness. Mr. Lynd opened the trunk and fired the final lethal shot.