Parole Board turns down John Wayne Conner’s clemency request

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles today turned down John Wayne Conner’s request to stop his execution set for Thursday evening.

The board reached its decision about two hours after District Attorney Timothy Vaughn, the prosecutor in Telfair County, laid out the details of the 1982 murder of J.T White, but also told of two other people Conner had killed — one when he was 15 and the other just months before White’s death. Earlier in the day, the five board members heard from Conner’s attorneys, two sisters and other friends who wanted to the board to consider his violent upbringing as they considered his clemency request.

The board does not explain its reasons.

Unless the courts grant his appeal, the 60-year-old Conner will die by lethal injection at 7 p.m., becoming the sixth person Georgia has executed this year. His execution would come 34 years to the day of when he was convicted.

Conner, then 25, and White, 29, had spent the evening of Jan. 9, 1982, at a party but wanted to keep drinking once they returned to Conner’s house in Milan.

They walked to a neighbor’s house in search of a ride to the liquor store, but the neighbor refused.

Walking back to Conner’s house, the two got into a fight when White said he wanted to have sex with Conner’s girlfriend, Beverly Bates. Conner beat White with a quart bottle and an oak tree branch.

Leaving White in a ditch, Conner went home to get Bates so they could leave town, but on the way Conner stopped at the ditch where he had left White.

To make sure White was dead, Conner beat him with a tree limb and then stabbed him with a stick.

Conner and Bates were arrested the next day in Butts County, on their way to Gainesville.

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