Update: June 18, 2014  12:16 am EDT

 

Missouri has executed Marcus Wellons.  Read the story here.

Update: June 17, 2014  10:51 pm EDT

 

The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to stay the execution of Marcus Wellons.  With the rejection by the Supreme Court, Marcus has no more appeals.  It is expected that Georgia will carry out the execution tonight.

Update: June 17, 2014  9:29 pm EDT

 

Earlier this evening, the Georgia Supreme Court rejected a request to stay the execution of Marcus Wellons over challenges to the state's lethal injection secrecy laws.  Marcus still has appeals pending to the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

Update: June 17, 2014  7:22 pm EDT

 

A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request for a stay of execution by Marcus Wellons, who alleged that his execution should be stayed due to the secrecy surrounding the source of the execution drugs.  The Court rejected the request shortly before Marcus' execution was set to begin.  Marcus' attorneys have appealed the decision of the 11th Circuit to the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

Update: June 16, 2014  8:37 pm EDT

 

Marcus A. Wellons is scheduled to be executed at 7 pm EDT, on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia. Fifty-nine-year-old Marcus is convicted for the murder of 15-year-old India Roberts in Cobb County, Georgia, on August 31, 1989. Marcus has spent the last 20 years of his life on Georgia's death row.

 

Marcus Wellons lived with his girlfriend, Gail Saunders and her 14-year-old son during the summer of 1989. Gail's son was friends with 15-year-old India Roberts, who lived in the same apartment building and was a frequent guest of Gail's son. On August 30, 1989, Gail broke things off with Wellons, saying he needed to move out. Wellons bought a one-way plane ticket to Florida and planned to leave on August 31, 1989. Gail stayed with a friend that night, while Wellons stayed in the apartment. That night, Wellons began drinking heavily after he was unable to reach Gail by telephone. While drunk and upset, Wellons destroyed her apartment and property. He attempted to cover-up the crime by calling the police and reporting a robbery.

 

Around 8:00 am, on August 31, 1989, India left home to catch the school bus. Neighbors reported that shortly thereafter, they heard muffled screams coming from Gail's apartment. Several items belonging to India were later found inside the apartment.

 

Later that day, around 2:00 pm, Wellons attempted to borrow a car from an acquaintance. His request was denied. Approximately 30 minutes later, retired military police officer Theodore Cole was driving by a wooded area near the apartment building, when he saw a man with what looked like a body wrapped in a sheet. He also saw feet dangling out from the bottom of the sheet. He drove back for a second look and saw the man throw the sheet into the woods. Theodore called police, who found the body of India near the location that Theodore had spotted the man. Theodore later positively identified Wellons as the man with the sheet.

 

Police arrived and saw Wellons heading out to the woods with a bundle under his arm. When Wellons saw police, he ran back into the apartment. Police eventually confronted him, and upon searching the apartment found significant evidence that India was raped and strangled to death inside the apartment. An autopsy later revealed that India had several defensive wounds. Wellons was arrested that day.

 

Wellons did not deny the murder or the rape of India at his trial. Rather, he claimed he was not guilty by reason of insanity or guilty but mentally ill, but failed to present any testimony by mental health experts during the guilt/innocence phase of the trial.

Marcus Wellons and his attorney attempted to stop his execution by arguing that a doctor cannot write a prescription to a compounding pharmacy for execution drugs because there is no medical reason for the drugs and because there is no doctor/patient relationship.  This appeal was denied on Friday, June 13, 2014, by Superior Court Judge Alford Dempsey.  According to Judge Dempsey, "lethal injections does not constitute a practice of medicine."

On Monday, June 16, 2014, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected a request for clemency, following testimony from several of Marcus' friends and family members

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of India Roberts. Please pray for strength for the family of Marcus Wellons. Please pray that Marcus will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if does not already have one.

 

 

 

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