Killer’s last meal; fried fish, hush puppies, deluxe hamburgers

Condemned murderer John Wayne Conner has requested a high-calorie meal before his execution scheduled for next week.

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, the 60-year-old man has asked for 10 pieces of fried catfish, 10 hush puppies, two triple deluxe hamburgers with bacon, two pints of vanilla ice cream and a sliced raw onion.

If he is put to death as scheduled next Thursday at 7 p.m., Conner will be the sixth person Georgia has executed this year, a record number in the 40 years since capital punishment was reinstated.

Conner’s lawyers will plead with the State Board of Pardons and Paroles on Wednesday to stop his execution for the 1982 murder of a drinking buddy. After that, the Telfair County district attorney will ask the Board to allow the lethal injection to go forward.

Conner, J.T. White and Conner’s girlfriend, Beverly Bates, had gone to a party in Eastman on Jan. 9, 1982. When the gathering was over, the three went back to Conner’s house in Milan to continue drinking.

Conner, then 25, and White, 29, needed more bourbon so they walked to a neighbor’s house to ask for a ride to the liquor store.

The neighbor refused and they headed back to Conner’s house.

On the way, White “made a statement about he would like to go to bed with my girlfriend and so I got mad and we got into a fight and fought all the way over to the oak tree and I hit him with a quart bottle,” Conner told investigators according to court records.

White ran and Conner chased him to a roadside ditch.

“He was swinging, trying to get up, or swinging at me to try to hit me,” Conner told detectives. “There was a stick right there … and I grabbed it and went to beating him with it.”

Conner left White in the ditch and went home.

He woke Bates and told her they had to leave town because he may have killed White. But he needed to make sure White was dead before they left town, so they drove back to the place where the men had fought.

Bates told investigators Conner walked into the woods and moments later she heard a thud. When Conner returned to the car he said White was dead.

Conner and Bates were picked up the next day in Butts County, where Georgia’s Death Row is located.

Conner’s scheduled lethal injection comes as the pace of executions in Georgia is increasing. Yet, death sentences are being rendered less often in Georgia.

At this time, Conner is the only Death Row inmate who has exhausted his appeals, though several others are nearing the end of legal recourse.

The last time Georgia carried out an execution was on April 27, when Daniel Anthony Lucas died by lethal injection 18 years and four days after he murdered Steven Moss and his two children in their Jones County home.

This year Georgia has also executed Joshua Bishop, Kenneth Fults, Travis Hittson and Brandon Astor Jones.

The only other times Georgia has put to death as many as five people in a year was in 2015 and in 1987.

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