Convicted Columbus Stocking Strangler Carlton Gary’s execution is set for the week before Christmas.
The order Muscogee Superior Court Judge Robert Johnston signed today schedules Gary’s death by lethal injection for Dec. 16 through Dec. 23, a time frame from which the Georgia Department of Corrections may choose a date. The order starts the execution window at noon Dec. 16 and ends it at noon on Dec. 23. Both are Wednesdays.
Gary’s attorneys may appeal to the state Board of Pardons and Paroles for a stay, authorities say. If they do, that hearing should be scheduled soon.
Otherwise Gary is almost out of options. For the third time, the United States Supreme Court this week rejected an appeal from the man convicted in the string of brutal rapes and murders that terrorized Columbus’ Wynnton area in the late 1970s.
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Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington, who has been on the Board of Pardons and Paroles and served as commissioner of the Department of Corrections, said Tuesday that a parole board hearing likely would take no more than a day.
“The board will make a decision that day,” he said. If the board denies the stay, the execution will occur “reasonably quickly after the board makes a decision,” he said.
The serial killer was given the moniker “Stocking Strangler” because of the ligature he more often chose to use on his victims, leaving it wrapped around their necks.
Gary was arrested in 1984. In 1986, he was tried and convicted in three of the seven slayings, the murders of Florence Scheible, 89, of 1941 Dimon St., on Oct. 21, 1977; Martha Thurmond, 69, of 2614 Marion St., on Oct. 25, 1977; and Kathleen Woodruff, 74, of 1811 Buena Vista Road, on Dec. 28, 1977.
The other Stocking Strangler victims were Ferne Jackson, 60, of 2505 17th St., killed Sept. 15, 1977; Jean Dimenstein, 71, of 3927 21st St., killed Sept. 25, 1977; Mildred Borom, 78, of 1612 Forest Ave., killed Feb. 12, 1978; and Janet Cofer, 61, of 3783 Steam Mill Road, killed April 20, 1978.
After being sentenced to death, Gary on Sept. 3, 1986, was sent to the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, where today he sits on death row.