Ga. man faces Dec. 8 date with executioner

A man convicted of murdering a 70-year-old man in 1992 faces a Dec. 8 execution, state officials said.

Brian Keith Terrell
Brian Keith Terrell

Brian Keith Terrell was convicted in 2001 for the robbery and murder of John Henry Watson, a close friend of Terrell’s mother. If executed, Terrell will be the 37th inmate in Georgia put to death by lethal injection and the fifth in 2015.

Previous executions in Georgia this year are:

Terrell stole a number of checks from Watson and cashed some, but the older man agreed that if Terrell returned the checks, he would not press charges, according to records. However, Terrell went to Watson’s house and killed him, prosecutors alleged.

Terrell’s first trial ended in a mistrial. He was convicted in a second trial, but the Georgia Supreme Court overturned that verdict because of an error in jury selection, according to published reports.

During his third trial — held in February 2001 — a Walton County jury convicted Terrell of  malice murder and 10 counts of first degree forgery. He was subsequently sentenced to heath.

The state habeas corpus court on July 17, 2008, granted Terrell relief on his death sentence. However, the state appealed, and the Georgia Supreme Court June 1, 2009, reversed the habeas corpus court’s order and reinstated the death sentence.

A Newton County Superior Court judge ordered the state to carry out the execution of Terrell between Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. Commissioner Homer Bryson has set the date for 7 p.m. on Dec. 8 at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Ga.


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Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is the owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and