Stay of execution denied for Ga. death row inmate

ATLANTA, Ga. – The Supreme Court of Georgia voted 6-1 to deny the stay of execution of 41-year-old Joshua Daniel Bishop.

Bishop was sentenced to death in the 1996 murder of 35-year-old Leverett Morrison in Milledgeville.  Bishop, who was 19 at the time of the murder, confessed that he and another man beat Morrison to death with a closet rod to steal the keys to Morrison’s car.

Bishop and his co-defendent Mark Braxley then drove Morrison’s body to a dumpster, but failed to toss the body in.

After his arrest, Bishop confessed that he and Braxley killed Ricky Lee Willis two weeks earlier and burying Willis’ body in the woods.

During the sentencing phase of Bishop’s trial for Morrison’s murder, the trial court admitted evidence of Wills’ murder as aggravating evidence in support of the death penalty.

Braxley, who was 36 at the time of Morrison’s murder, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Bishop is scheduled to be put to death at 7:00pm Thursday night by lethal injection.

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