Ex­e­cu­tion set for GA man in death of trial wit­ness

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

AT­LANTA (AP) — A Ge­or­gia death row in­mate con­victed of mur­der in the slay­ing of a store clerk who was sched­uled to tes­tify against his son is to be ex­e­cuted next month, the state at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice said Tues­day.

Tommy Lee Waldrip is set to die at 7 p.m. on July 10 at the state prison in Jack­son, At­tor­ney Gen­eral Sam Olens’ of­fice said in a news re­lease. A Daw­son County jury in Oc­to­ber 1994 con­victed him and rec­om­mended the death penalty for the April 1991 killing of Keith Evans.

His ex­e­cu­tion date comes on the heels of the June 17 ex­e­cu­tion of death row in­mate Mar­cus Wel­lons, which was the first in the United States since a botched April ex­e­cu­tion in Ok­la­homa.

Evans was a store clerk in Forsyth County and had tes­ti­fied in the 1990 armed rob­bery trial of Waldrip’s son, John Mark Waldrip. The younger Waldrip was con­victed, but he was granted a new trial and re­leased on bond, ac­cord­ing to Ge­or­gia Supreme Court records from Tommy Lee Waldrip’s case. Evans was set to tes­tify in the re­trial.

On April 13, 1991, sev­eral days be­fore the new trial, John Mark Waldrip called an­other wit­ness and threat­ened to harm him if he tes­ti­fied.

AP Photo /Johnny Clark

Joseph Ship­pen, far left, As­sis­tant Rec­tor of the Christ Epis­co­pal Church in Ma­con, Ga., and Epis­co­pal Bishop Rob Wright, sec­ond from left, stand with pro­tes­tors out­side the grounds of the Ge­or­gia Di­ag­nos­tic and Clas­si­fi­ca­tion Prison in Jack­son, Ga., be­fore the sched­uled ex­e­cu­tion of Ge­or­gia death row in­mate Mar­cus Wel­lon on Tues­day June 17, 2014. Wel­lom was con­victed of the 1989 rape and mur­der of 15-year old In­dia Roberts. This is the first U.S. ex­e­cu­tion since the botched ex­e­cu­tion in Ok­la­homa nearly two months ago.

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