‘Stocking Strangler’ Carlton Gary executed for 1970s’ rapes, murders

Carlton Gary, aka the Columbus "Stocking Strangler," was executed by lethal injection Thursday night at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison. He was pronounced dead at 10:33 p.m.

Gary's initial appointed hour for the lethal injection, 7 p.m., came and went while the appeals process played out. As he waited, he declined to eat his final meal.

Thursday began with the courts weighing his final appeals. The Georgia Supreme Court was the first to deny a stay of execution, followed by a no from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and a final no from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gary also filed a surprise legal appeal Thursday morning in U.S. District Court in Columbus, saying he wanted a new lawyer. Gary said his attorney, Jack Martin, has cancer, so he questioned whether Martin could adequately represent him.

Martin told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he was unaware of the Thursday morning filing.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected Gary's plea for clemency on Wednesday.

Gary was convicted of raping and strangling three elderly women with their own stockings in the late 1970s.