The Latest: Inmate before execution: ‘I never took a life’

JACKSON, Ga. (AP) — The Latest on the scheduled execution of a Georgia inmate for a 1996 killing (all times local):

10:15 p.m.

An inmate executed by the state of Georgia for a slaying decades ago said in his last moments that he never killed anyone.

From the execution chamber, 42-year-old inmate Marion Wilson Jr. told witnesses gathered for his lethal injection that “I never took a life in my life.” He also told family, friends and supporters “I love y’all forever” before a powerful sedative began flowing.

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Wilson took about 10 deep breaths, paused and then took a few more breaths before falling still. Authorities say the inmate was pronounced dead at 9:52 p.m. Thursday.

Wilson and Robert Earl Butts Jr. were convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the March 1996 slaying of 24-year-old Donovan Corey Parks. Prosecutors said Parks was killed after agreeing to give the two men a ride after a chance encounter outside a Walmart store in Milledgeville, rural Georgia.

Butts was executed last year at the age of 40.

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9:52 p.m.

Georgia has executed an inmate convicted of the 1996 killing of a man who agreed to give him a ride outside a Walmart.

Authorities say 42-year-old Marion Wilson Jr. was pronounced dead Thursday evening following an injection of the sedative pentobarbital at the state prison in Jackson. The state attorney general’s office said in a statement that Byrd was pronounced dead at 9:52 p.m.

Wilson and Robert Earl Butts Jr. were convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the March 1996 slaying of 24-year-old Donovan Corey Parks. Butts was executed last year.

A Georgia Supreme Court case summary says Butts and Wilson asked Parks for a ride outside a Walmart store in Milledgeville, ordered him out of the car a short distance away and fatally shot him. Butts’ lawyers argued Wilson killed Parks, while Wilson’s lawyers said Butts fired the fatal shot.

Milledgeville is about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southeast of Atlanta.

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9 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a request to halt plans by the state of Georgia to execute an inmate for a 1996 shotgun slaying.

The lawyers for 42-year-old Marion Wilson Jr. had asked as the scheduled 7 p.m. execution time approached that the nation’s high court block Georgia from carrying out the death sentence so that a lower court decision rejecting Wilson’s claims could be reviewed.

Earlier Thursday, the Georgia Supreme Court rejected two court challenges by Wilson.

The U.S Supreme Court said in a brief statement late Thursday that the request for a stay had been denied.

Wilson and Robert Earl Butts Jr. were convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the March 1996 slaying of Donovan Corey Parks. Authorities have said Butts and Wilson asked Parks for a ride outside a Walmart store in Milledgeville and then fatally shot him a short distance away. The pair then stole Parks’ car.

Butts was executed in May 2018.

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4 p.m.

The Georgia Supreme Court has rejected two court challenges by a death row inmate and declined to stop his scheduled evening execution.

Marion Wilson Jr. is set to receive a lethal injection at 7 p.m. Wilson and Robert Earl Butts Jr. were convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the March 1996 slaying of Donovan Corey Parks. Butts was executed in May 2018.

Authorities have said Butts and Wilson asked Parks for a ride outside a Walmart store in Milledgeville and then fatally shot him a short distance away. The pair then stole Parks’ car.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles held a closed-door clemency hearing Wednesday and denied clemency Thursday morning. The board is the only authority in Georgia that can commute a death sentence.

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9 a.m.

The Georgia parole board has denied clemency for a prisoner scheduled to be executed Thursday for the killing of an off-duty prison guard more than two decades ago.

Marion Wilson Jr. is scheduled to receive a lethal injection at 7 p.m. Wilson and Robert Earl Butts Jr. were convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the March 1996 slaying of Donovan Corey Parks. Butts was executed in May 2018.

Authorities have said Butts and Wilson asked Parks for a ride outside a Walmart store in Milledgeville and then fatally shot him a short distance away. The pair then stole Parks’ car.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles held a closed-door clemency hearing Wednesday and issued its decision denying clemency Thursday morning. The board is the only authority in Georgia that can commute a death sentence.

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1 a.m.

Georgia is preparing to execute a man convicted in the killing of an off-duty prison guard more than two decades ago.

Marion Wilson Jr. is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Thursday. Wilson and Robert Earl Butts Jr. were convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the March 1996 slaying of Donovan Corey Parks. Butts was executed in May 2018.

Authorities have said Butts and Wilson asked Parks for a ride outside a Walmart store in Milledgeville and then fatally shot him a short distance away. The pair then stole Parks’ car.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles held a clemency hearing Wednesday and said it would release its decision Thursday. The board is the only authority in Georgia that can commute a death sentence.

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