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Georgia executes man convicted of killing woman

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JACKSON, Ga. (AP) - The latest on the scheduled Thursday execution of Georgia inmate Marcus Ray Johnson (all times local):

10:20 p.m.

A man convicted of raping and killing a woman he met in a south Georgia nightclub has been executed.

Corrections officials say Marcus Ray Johnson was put to death at 10:11 p.m. Thursday.

Johnson was convicted in April 1998 in the March 1994 rape and murder of Angela Sizemore in Albany.

Johnson met Sizemore at a club and the two were spotted kissing and drinking heavily and were seen leaving together. Sizemore's body was found the next day and prosecutors say eyewitnesses placed Johnson near where her body was found.

Defense attorneys argued there were inconsistencies in the evidence presented at Johnson's trial that raise doubts about his guilt. Prosecutors said defense theories had been rejected by the courts and there was no doubt Johnson killed Sizemore.

9:05 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied the application for a stay of execution for a condemned Georgia man.

Lawyers for 50-year-old Marcus Ray Johnson filed several last-minute appeals.

Johnson, who was scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. Thursday at the state prison in Jackson, was convicted in the March 1994 rape and murder of Angela Sizemore in Albany.

Johnson's attorneys argue he shouldn't be executed because doubts remain about his guilt. Prosecutors say there is no doubt Johnson killed Sizemore.

The Georgia Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling rejecting a constitutional challenge to Johnson's sentence and conviction. His lawyers then turned to the federal courts.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, the only entity authorized to commute a death sentence, voted Wednesday to deny clemency.

7:10 p.m.

Lawyers for a man convicted of killing a woman he met in a south Georgia nightclub have filed yet another appeal on his behalf.

Court officials recently said one appeal for a stay of execution remains pending before the U.S. Supreme Court for Marcus Ray Johnson who was scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. Thursday at the state prison in Jackson.

The 50-year-old was convicted in the March 1994 rape and murder of Angela Sizemore in Albany.

Johnson's attorneys argue he shouldn't be executed because doubts remain about his guilt. Prosecutors say there is no doubt Johnson killed Sizemore.

The Georgia Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling rejecting a constitutional challenge to Johnson's sentence and conviction. His lawyers then turned to the federal courts.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, the only entity authorized to commute a death sentence, voted Wednesday to deny clemency.

7 p.m.

Court officials say one appeal for a stay of execution remains pending before the U.S. Supreme Court for a condemned Georgia man after the high court rejected an earlier appeal.

The appeal remained pending as the hour of execution arrived for Marcus Ray Johnson.

A half hour earlier, the court said another petition on behalf of Johnson for a stay of execution had been turned down.

Johnson is scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Thursday at the state prison in Jackson. The 50-year-old was convicted in the March 1994 rape and murder of Angela Sizemore in Albany.

Johnson's attorneys argue he shouldn't be executed because doubts remain about his guilt. Prosecutors say there is no doubt Johnson killed Sizemore.

The Georgia Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling rejecting a constitutional challenge to Johnson's sentence and conviction. His lawyers then turned to the federal courts.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, the only entity authorized to commute a death sentence, voted Wednesday to deny clemency.

6:30 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a stay of execution for a man convicted of killing a woman he met in a south Georgia nightclub.

In a brief order Thursday evening, the court said a petition on behalf of inmate Marcus Ray Johnson that was presented to Justice Clarence Thomas and referred to the court had been turned down.

Johnson is scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Thursday at the state prison in Jackson. The 50-year-old was convicted in the March 1994 rape and murder of Angela Sizemore in Albany.

Johnson's attorneys argue he shouldn't be executed because doubts remain about his guilt. Prosecutors say there is no doubt Johnson killed Sizemore.

The Georgia Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling rejecting a constitutional challenge to Johnson's sentence and conviction. His lawyers then turned to the federal courts.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, the only entity authorized to commute a death sentence, voted Wednesday to deny clemency.

5:15 p.m.

Lawyers for a man convicted of killing a woman he met in a south Georgia nightclub have appealed a federal judge's refusal to stop his execution.

Marcus Ray Johnson is scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Thursday at the state prison in Jackson. The 50-year-old was convicted in the March 1994 rape and murder of Angela Sizemore in Albany.

Johnson's attorneys argue he shouldn't be executed because doubts remain about his guilt. Prosecutors say there is no doubt Johnson killed Sizemore.

The Georgia Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling rejecting a constitutional challenge to Johnson's sentence and conviction. Now his lawyers want the U.S. Supreme Court or a federal appeals court to step in.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, the only entity authorized to commute a death sentence, voted Wednesday to deny clemency.

1 p.m.

Lawyers for a man convicted of killing a woman he met in a south Georgia nightclub are asking a federal court in Atlanta and the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his execution.

Marcus Ray Johnson is scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Thursday at the state prison in Jackson. The 50-year-old was convicted in the March 1994 rape and murder of Angela Sizemore in Albany.

Johnson's attorneys argue he shouldn't be executed because doubts remain about his guilt. Prosecutors say there is no doubt Johnson killed Sizemore.

The Georgia Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling rejecting a constitutional challenge to Johnson's sentence and conviction. Now his lawyers want the U.S. Supreme Court or a federal judge to step in.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, the only entity authorized to commute a death sentence, voted Wednesday to deny clemency.

11:35 a.m.

The Georgia Supreme Court has declined to halt the execution of a man convicted of killing a woman he met in a nightclub.

Marcus Ray Johnson is scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Thursday at the state prison in Jackson. The 50-year-old was convicted in the March 1994 rape and murder of Angela Sizemore in Albany.

Johnson's attorneys argue he shouldn't be executed because doubts remain about his guilt. Prosecutors say there is no doubt Johnson killed Sizemore.

A Butts County Superior Court judge on Wednesday rejected a constitutional challenge to Johnson's sentence and conviction and declined to stop his execution. The state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld that ruling.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles is the only entity authorized to commute a death sentence. After a hearing Wednesday, the board voted to deny clemency.

3 a.m.

A Georgia man convicted of killing a woman he met in a nightclub is set to be executed.

Marcus Ray Johnson is scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Thursday at the state prison in Jackson. The 50-year-old was convicted in the March 1994 rape and murder of Angela Sizemore in Albany.

Johnson's attorneys argue he shouldn't be executed because doubts remain about his guilt. Prosecutors say there is no doubt Johnson killed Sizemore.

A judge on Wednesday rejected a constitutional challenge to Johnson's sentence and conviction and declined to stop his execution. His lawyers have appealed to the state Supreme Court.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles is the only entity authorized to commute a death sentence. The board held a hearing Wednesday and voted not to grant clemency.

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