Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Georgia Executes Willie Pye on March 20, 2024

Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Willie Pye

Willie Pye was executed by the state of Georgia on March 20, 2024.  Willie was pronounced dead at 11:03 pm local time, inside the execution chamber at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia.  He was 59 years of age.  Willie was convicted of murdering 21-year-old Alicia Lynn Yarbrough on November 16, 1993, in Spaulding County, Georgia.  For the last 27 years, Willie resided on Georgia’s death row.

Willie had a difficult childhood. He was frequently abused and neglected and often lived in poverty. Willie did poorly in school and attended irregularly. He stopped attending school before the end of junior high. Willie previously served time on burglary charges, being released in 1990.

Willie Pye and Alicia Yarbrough had been in an on-again/off-again relationship. By November 16, 1993, they were no longer together and Alicia was living with another man, Charles Puckett. Pye and two accomplices decided to rob Puckett because they heard he had recently come into some money. Pye also disliked Puckett, because Pye believed Puckett had signed a birth certificate for a child that Pye believed he fathered.

Before going to a party, Pye and his two friends bought a gun. The trio left the part shortly before midnight and walked to Puckett’s house. They observed that Alicia and her baby were the only ones at home. Pye attempted to enter through a window. Alicia saw him and began screaming. Pye then rushed to the front door and broke into the house. After entering, he held Alicia at gunpoint.

The men searched the home but did not find the money. Instead, they took Alicia’s ring and necklace and forced her to come with them, leaving the baby home alone. They went to a nearby motel, where Pye checked in using a false name. At the motel, the three men took turns raping Alicia, who was still being held at gunpoint. Before leaving the motel, the men attempted to wipe down their fingerprints.

They drove Alicia to an abandoned area. Pye forced Alicia out of the car and made her lie face down in the dirt. He then shot her three times, killing her. While driving away, Pye threw evidence, such as gloves, masks, and the gun, out the car window.

Alicia’s body was discovered a few hours later. Police were also able to quickly locate the evidence thrown from the car window. Police spoke with Pye later that day and he insisted he had not seen Alicia for at least the last two weeks. However, one of Pye’s accomplices confessed and later testified against Pye.

Pye was tried by a jury and found guilty. He was then sentenced to death.

Willie Pye was the first person executed in Georgia since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pray for peace for the family of Alicia Yarbrough. Pray for strength for the family of Willie Pye. 

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