The Latest: Georgia executes man for 1994 beating death

AP News
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Posted: Mar 31, 2016 9:42 PM

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the case of a Georgia death row inmate scheduled to be executed Thursday (all times local):

9:27 p.m.

Georgia has executed a man convicted in the beating death of another man while trying to steal his car keys after a night of drinking and drug use.

Authorities say 41-year-old Joshua Bishop was pronounced dead at 9:27 p.m. Thursday at the state prison in Jackson following an injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital. Bishop was convicted of the 1994 killing of Leverett Morrison in Milledgeville, central Georgia.

Bishop, Morrison and another man, Mark Braxley, had been drinking and smoking crack on June 24, 1994, according to prosecutors. They say Bishop tried to steal car keys from Morrison, who was sleeping, and he and Braxley beat Morrison to death when he awoke.

A jury sentenced Bishop to die following a trial in 1996. Braxley pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence.

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8:35 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to halt Thursday evening's planned execution of a Georgia man convicted in a 1994 beating death.

The nation's highest court issued a brief statement Thursday evening that it had rejected a request for a stay made by lawyers for inmate Joshua Bishop. The court's response came after Bishop's originally scheduled 7 p.m. execution time. It gave no explanation for the decision.

Earlier Thursday, the Georgia Supreme Court had rejected an appeal and declined to halt the execution plans. The State Board of Pardons and Paroles also denied his clemency request Thursday.

The 41-year-old inmate was convicted in the June 1994 killing of Leverett Morrison in Milledgeville, Georgia.

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3:45 p.m.

Georgia's highest court has denied an appeal filed by a death row inmate convicted of beating another man to death.

Joshua Bishop is scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Georgia Supreme Court on Thursday afternoon rejected an appeal and declined to halt his execution.

Also Thursday, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles denied his clemency request.

The 41-year-old inmate was convicted in the June 1994 killing of Leverett Morrison in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Bishop, Morrison and Mark Braxley had been drinking and smoking crack on June 24, 1994. Prosecutors say Bishop tried to steal car keys from Morrison, who was sleeping, and he and Braxley beat Morrison to death when he woke up.

A jury sentenced Bishop to die after a trial in 1996. Braxley pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence.

9:50 a.m.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied clemency for a death row inmate convicted of beating another man to death.

Joshua Bishop is scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Thursday. The parole board held a clemency hearing Wednesday and announced its decision Thursday morning.

The parole board is the only entity in Georgia that can commute a death sentence.

The 41-year-old inmate was convicted in the June 1994 killing of Leverett Morrison in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Bishop, Morrison and Mark Braxley had been drinking and smoking crack on June 24, 1994. Prosecutors say Bishop tried to steal car keys from Morrison, who was sleeping, and he and Braxley beat Morrison to death when he woke up.

A jury sentenced Bishop to die after a trial in 1996. Braxley pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence.

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4 a.m.

Georgia is set to execute a death row inmate convicted of beating another man to death in 1994.

Joshua Bishop is scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Thursday at the state prison in Jackson by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital.

The 41-year-old inmate was convicted in the June 1994 killing of Leverett Morrison in Milledgeville.

Bishop, Morrison and Mark Braxley had been drinking and smoking crack on June 24, 1994. Prosecutors say Bishop tried to steal car keys from Morrison, who was sleeping, and he and Braxley beat Morrison to death when he woke up.

Bishop and Braxley dumped Morrison's body between two trash bins and burned his Jeep.

A jury sentenced Bishop to die after a trial in 1996. Braxley pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence.