The Latest: Appeals court refuses to block Georgia execution

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on a Georgia death penalty case (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

A federal appeals court is denying an effort to block a Georgia execution.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected the move to block the planned execution of Ray Jefferson Cromartie, a lethal injection set for after 7 p.m. The three-judge panel says a lower court judge did not err in rejecting defense lawyers’ efforts to seek DNA testing.

Cromartie was convicted of malice murder and sentenced to death for April 1994’s slaying of Thomasville convenience store clerk Richard Slysz.

Cromartie’s half-brother this week claimed he overhead co-defendant Corey Clark say that Clark, not Cromartie, shot the clerk.

The lower court judge had ruled previously that that statement didn’t provide “new reliable evidence” of Cromartie’s innocence.

Lawyers for Cromartie are still asking the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and stop the planned execution.

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9:05 a.m.

A federal judge is denying the most recent appeal of a Georgia man scheduled to be executed Wednesday evening at the state prison in Jackson.

U.S. District Judge Mark Treadwell, in an order late Tuesday, rejected new claims of innocence from Ray Jefferson Cromartie.

Cromartie was convicted of malice murder and sentenced to death for April 1994’s slaying of Thomasville convenience store clerk Richard Slysz.

Treadwell says a new claim from Cromartie’s half-brother claiming he overhead co-defendant Corey Clark say that Clark, not Cromartie, shot the clerk doesn’t provide “new reliable evidence” of Cromartie’s innocence.

The judge also says Cromartie’s lawyers should have offered the evidence before now.

Lawyers for Cromartie are moving to ask the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the judge’s ruling.

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1:30 a.m.

Georgia prison officials are preparing to execute a man convicted in the killing of a convenience store clerk.

Ray Jefferson Cromartie is scheduled to die Wednesday evening at the state prison in Jackson. He was convicted of malice murder and sentenced to death for April 1994’s slaying of Richard Slysz at a Thomasville convenience store.

The state says Cromartie, accompanied by another man, shot Slysz. Authorities say Cromartie also shot and gravely injured another clerk days earlier.

Cromartie says he didn’t shoot either clerk. His lawyers still seek DNA testing on evidence from the shootings, but courts have so far rejected them.

The execution was delayed last month after a trial court judge was found to have filed an execution order while Cromartie had a Supreme Court appeal pending.

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