Georgia set to execute eighth person in 2016

Steven Frederick SpearsSteven Frederick Spears

A Lumpkin County man faces a Nov. 16 execution for the 2001 murder of his ex-girlfriend.

If executed, Steven Frederick Spears, 54, will be the eighth inmate executed in Georgia this year. He would also be the 45th inmate in Georgia put to death by lethal injection.

Prosecutors say Spears killed Sherri Holland because she was involved with another man.

Spears on Aug. 25, 2001, went to her house, bound her hands and feet with duct tape and placed a plastic bag over her head secured with duct tape. He left her for dead, lying face down on a pillow.

“Last thing she said was she loved me. Swear to God, that’s the last thing she said. Last words came out of her mouth,” Spears later said, according to court records. When asked what his reply had been, he stated: “I love you, too. Then I choked her ass right out.”

A jury on March 21, 2007, convicted Spears of one count of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of kidnapping with bodily injury and two counts of burglary. The jury’s recommendation of a death sentence for malice murder was returned on March 22, 2007.

The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Spears’s convictions and death sentence on Feb. 16, 2015.

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