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Georgia Executes Wife Killer

August 17, 2002

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JACKSON, Ga. (AP) _ A man convicted of killing his wife in front of their 15-year-old son in 1991 was executed Friday night after getting two last-minute reprieves from the death chamber.

Before the lethal chemicals were pumped into his body, Wallace Fugate III thanked his attorneys and said: ``I feel right with God. Nothing to worry about.″

Fugate’s execution had been set for Wednesday, but was delayed 45 minutes before he was to die after the state Supreme Court said it wanted more time to consider his claim the state parole board unfairly denied him clemency. The court lifted the stay Friday.

It was the second stay of execution for Fugate, who got a reprieve two hours before his scheduled death June 18 over the same clemency issue.

Fugate, 52, was convicted for shooting to death his wife, Pattie, during a struggle outside their home in Putnam County. He insisted the gun fired accidentally

Their son, Mark, gave two accounts of his mother’s death. He told police his view was blocked; at trial, he testified he saw his father tilt his mother’s head back and pull the trigger.

Mark Fugate was slain five years later in an unrelated case.

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On the Net:

Georgia Department of Corrections: http://www.dcor.state.ga.us

Southern Center for Human Rights: http://www.schr.org

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