Georgia Puts to Death Convicted Killer in First Execution Since Botched Injection

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Oliver Darcy.

JACKSON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia inmate convicted of rape and murder has become the first person to be executed in the U.S. since the botched lethal injection of a prisoner in Oklahoma in April.

This undated photo made available by the Georgia Department of Law Enforcement shows Marcus Wellons. Wellons is scheduled to be executed Tuesday, June 17, 2014. If his execution goes forward, Wellons will be the first inmate put to death in the United States since a botched execution in Oklahoma in April. (AP Photo/Georgia Department of Law Enforcement)

Fifty-nine-year-old Marcus Wellons was executed by injection Tuesday night after last-minute appeals were denied. A corrections spokesman says he was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m., more than an hour after the procedure began. The execution seemed to go smoothly with no noticeable complications.

Wellons was convicted and sentenced to die in 1993 for the 1989 death of his 15-year-old neighbor, India Roberts, a high school sophomore from the Atlanta suburbs.

Authorities say Wellons raped and strangled the teen. Roberts’ body was found in a wooded area near the apartment building.

Georgia uses one drug — the sedative pentobarbital — for executions. Oklahoma uses three.