United States

Georgia Set For First Execution In 4 Years After Sentencing Willie Pye For Killing Ex-Girlfriend In 1994

After a nearly 30-years, Willie Pye is scheduled for execution on Wednesday for the brutal killing of his ex-girlfriend. The case marks the state's first execution in over four years.

X
Willie James Pye will be first inmate in four years to be executed in Georgia. Photo: X
info_icon

Georgia is set to carry out its first execution in over four years as Willie James Pye, 59, faces lethal injection for the murder of his former girlfriend, Alicia Lynn Yarbrough, in November 1993. Convicted of murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, rape, and burglary, Pye's execution is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the state prison in Jackson, marking the state's return to capital punishment after a hiatus.

Pye's lawyers had sought clemency, arguing that his 1996 trial was marred by deficiencies in the local public defender system and that crucial evidence regarding Pye's intellectual disability was not adequately presented. Despite these pleas, the Georgia Parole Board denied Pye's bid for clemency, paving the way for his execution.

The grim details of the crime involve Pye and accomplices planning to rob Yarbrough's partner, leading to a series of harrowing events where Yarbrough was forcibly taken, raped, and eventually shot by Pye. The prosecution's case rested heavily on the testimony of a teenager, who confessed to his involvement and implicated Pye and another accomplice.

In court filings, Pye's legal team highlighted his troubled upbringing marked by poverty, neglect, and abuse, suggesting that these factors contributed to his criminal actions. They also argued that Pye suffered from brain damage, impairing his judgment and impulse control.

Pye's journey through the legal system has been tumultuous, with challenges to his conviction and sentencing repeatedly raised. While his co-defendant, Chester Adams, received multiple life sentences for his role in the crime, Pye faces the death penalty.

Despite appeals citing inadequacies in his legal representation during the trial, federal courts have upheld Pye's sentence. His execution, if carried out, will mark a somber chapter in Georgia's legal history and reignite debates surrounding capital punishment in the state.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement