Ga. court declines to remove Johnson’s stay of execution

ATLANTA — The state’s Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to drop a stay of execution a Dougherty County judge granted to a man who was set to be executed for the 1994 murder a woman he met at a west Albany bar.

Dougherty County Superior Court Chief Judge Willie Lockette on Tuesday granted the stay of execution to 46-year-old Marcus Ray Johnson. District Attorney Gregory Edwards filed an emergency motion to dismiss the stay, but the state’s high court voted unanimously to dismiss an appeal on procedural grounds, saying state law does not allow such appeals to be filed.

Johnson’s attorneys are asking for additional DNA testing of evidence. Lockette set a Feb. 1 hearing to address a motion for additional DNA testing that Johnson’s attorneys filed.

Johnson was convicted in April 1998 of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, rape and aggravated battery and subsequently sentenced to death for the March 24, 1994, killing of Angela Sizemore. According to prosecutors, investigators found Sizemore’s blood on the leather jacket Johnson was wearing, and a pocketknife Johnson had was consistent with knife wounds police found on Sizemore’s body.

Johnson was set to die at 7 p.m. at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, GA. He was convicted and sentenced to death for the March 24, 1994 murder of Angela Sizemore in Albany.

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