Brian Terrell


Update: December 9, 2015 9:50 am EST

Brian Terrell was executed by the state of Georgia. Read the full story here.

Update: December 8, 2015 11:14 pm EST

The Supreme Court of the United States has rejected a request by Brian Terrell to stay his execution, scheduled to begin at 7pm EST. Previous appeals were denied by state courts and the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Update: December 8, 2015 8:21 pm EST

Brian Terrell was scheduled to be executed at 7pm EST. His execution has been delayed while the Supreme Court of the United States and the Georgia Supreme Court each considers appeals from Brian's lawyers.

Update: December 8, 2015 11:06 am EST

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has rejected a request for clemency from Brian Keith Terrell. Brian's lawyers are also attempting to have his execution stopped by arguing that there could be a problem with the execution drugs, but they are unable to check the drugs due to the state's secrecy protocol.

Update: December 7, 2015 1:04 pm EST

Brian Keith Terrell is scheduled to be executed at 7 pm EDT, on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia. Forty-seven-year-old Brian is convicted of the murder of 70-year-old John Henry Watson on June 22, 1992, in Newton County, Georgia. Brian has spent the last 20 years of his life on Georgia’s death row.

Brian had previously served time in prison for robbery.


While prison was in prison for robbery, Brian’s mother, Barbara, assisted John Watson with meals and running errands, as John was suffering from severe health problems, including needing dialysis three times a week. During the two years she assisted him, Barbara received no compensation for her work, although John told her that she would be included in his will.


Brian Terrell was released from prison on parole, on May 1, 1992. On June 20, 1992, John contacted the sheriff’s office. He had been notified of ten canceled checks which had been stolen and forged, to the total of $8,700. Several of the checks were written out to Terrell. Due to John’s relationship with Barbara, he asked police to wait before arresting Terrell, as he was willing to forgo pressing charges if Terrell would return most of the money by June 22. Terrell initially agreed to repay the money, but later confessed that he had already spent the money.


On June 21, 1992, Terrell and his cousin Jermaine Johnson checked into a motel near the home of John. Around 6:30 am, on June 22, Terrell had Johnson drop him off near John’s house, with instructions to pick him up around 9:00 am. Johnson returned to the hotel, where he slept for a few hours.


Terrell waited for John to exit his home before shooting him four times. John was then dragged into the brush and severely beaten in the face and head. Both the beating and the gunshots would have been fatal on their own. Additionally, all injures were inflicted while John was still alive.


Johnson picked up Terrell around 9:30 am. Terrell told Johnson that he had killed a man. Terrell bought new clothes at a department store, showered at his grandmother’s house, and later took his son to the zoo.


Terrell was arrested later that day and questioned about the murder. Terrell admitted to the forgeries but denied being part of the murder. He told police that he and Johnson were in the hotel with a woman all night. When Terrell gave a contradiction in his story, he stopped answering questions.


Terrell was convicted and sentenced to death on February 7, 1995, for the murder of John Watson. He was also convicted on ten counts of first-degree forgery and received ten consecutive ten-year sentences.


Brian had previously been scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, March 10, 2015, however his execution was postponed, following the postponement of the execution of Kelly Gissendaner, who had been scheduled to be executed on March 2, 2015. In the hours prior to Kelly’s execution, the execution drugs became noticeable cloudy, after having been tested for potency. Although the tests showed that the drugs would be successful in the execution, Kelly's execution was postponed "in an abundance of caution." Brian's execution was also postponed in order to allow a complete analysis of the drugs. Once the state investigated the matter, determining that the drugs had been stored at too low a temperature, executions were allowed to resume, with Kelly being executed Wednesday, September 30, 2015.


Please pray for peace and healing for the family of John. Please pray for strength for the family of Brian Terrell. Please pray that if Brian is innocent or lacks the mental competency to be executed, evidence will be presented before his execution. Please pray that Brian will come to find peace through personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.



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