May 2, 2019 / 10:06 AM / 18 days ago

Georgia executes man convicted of murder of two women in 1994

(Reuters) - A 52-year-old man convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend and her friend during an argument in 1994 was put to death by lethal injection on Thursday, state corrections officials said.

Scotty Garnell Morrow was declared dead at 9:38 p.m. local time (2538 GMT) at Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, the Georgia Department of Corrections said in a statement.

Morrow, whose last appeal was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court about two hours earlier, “accepted a final prayer and recorded a final statement” before his execution, the corrections department said.

The contents of his final statement were not released immediately.

According to court documents, Morrow went to the home of Barbara Young on the morning of Dec. 29, 1994, weeks after she ended a relationship with him.

An argument ensued as Young’s friends Tonya Woods and LaToya Horne and her two children looked on, according to the court documents.

Morrow pulled a gun from his waistband during the altercation and shot Woods in the abdomen and Horne in the arm. Young fled into a bedroom, where Morrow beat her before he shot and killed her. He shot and killed Woods, court papers showed.

Horne fled to a neighbor’s house as police responded to the shooting and the murder weapon was later found hidden in the backyard of Morrow’s house. Morrow confessed to the killings after his arrest.

He admitted during his trial he shot the victims because he “wanted [Ms. Woods] to shut up,” court documents said.

A jury found Morrow guilty on several charges on June 26, 1999, including two counts of felony murder. Jurors recommended the death sentence three days later.

Several state and federal courts denied Morrow’s appeals since 2001 based on various grounds. The Supreme Court denied Morrow’s request to appeal in February.

Morrow was the fifth inmate to be executed in the United States and the first to be executed in Georgia in 2019. Georgia executed two inmates in 2018, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb in LOS ANGELES; Editing by Chris Reese and Paul Tait

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