Thursday, July 24 2014 11:46 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:46:21 GMT
Former Associated Press writer Jim Purks shared his experiences with people in Albany Thursday night.More >>
Former Associated Press writer Jim Purks shared his experiences with people in Albany Thursday night. More >>
One day after the controversial execution of Troy Davis, the state set an execution date for a condemned Albany man.
Marcus Ray Johnson was sentenced to death for the 1994 murder of a Lee County woman.
Thursday Superior Court Judge Willie Lockette signed the warrant for Johnson's execution.
Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner Brian Owens said Ray Johnson will be executed October 5th at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison at Jackson. More than 17 years after he raped and brutally murdered Angela Sizemore.
46 year old Marcus Ray Johnson, currently on death row at the prison in Jackson, has completed the state's appeals process, and his execution date has been set for two weeks and one hour for now. It's been 17 years since Johnson was found guilty of brutally raping and murdering Angela Sizemore.
Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards said "This case merits the death penalty."
In 1998, Greg Edwards was the assistant District Attorney who prosecuted Johnson. He says Johnson met Angela Sizemore, a 34 year old single mother, at a northwest Albany bar, and left with her. The next morning her body was found in her SUV in an east Albany field. She had been raped, sexually mutilated, and stabbed 41 times. Several witnesses testified that Johnson boarded a bus near where the SUV was found, his clothes coated in blood. He told Police "I didn't kill her intentionally if I did kill her."
In one of his appeals, Johnson claimed his trial lawyers failed to bring up evidence of his difficult childhood. His father abandoned him at age 15. His appeals have been denied by both the Georgia Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court.
Edwards said "But as of this date, today, all his appeals have been issued, and so the next step is the actual carrying out of the sentence."
Now that his execution date has been set, Edwards knows there will likely be more legal appeals filed. The Georgia Attorney General's office will address them.
Edwards said "Certainly the important thing is that justice is ultimately served as decided by the people."
And that justice could come in two weeks.
We talked with Angela Sizemore's mother and daughter today. Neither wanted to talk on camera with us about today's order. Now 22 years old, Katie Barker is a student in Athens. She told us that prosecutors warned that any interviews she did could be used by Johnson to try to avoid the death penalty.
In October 1994 Johnson escaped from the Miller County Jail.
He hit a 76-year old jailer in the head with a gun.
That jailer died 9 months later, but Johnson was never tried for that death.