JACKSON, Ga. — Condemned murderer Warren Lee Hill is scheduled for execution by lethal injection at 7 p.m. today for the 1990 murder of fellow inmate Joseph Handspike at Lee State Prison.
Hill was sentenced to death in 1990 for killing Handspike at Lee State Prison (then called Lee Correctional Institute) where both men were incarcerated for murder. Hill was serving a life sentence for murdering his 18-year-old girlfriend, Myra Wright, in 1986 by shooting her 11 times.
Hill was convicted of bludgeoning Handspike in a cell. Lee prison officials said Handspike was asleep when the attack began. The murder weapon, officers testified, was a two-by-six-inch board which had several nails protruding from one end.
A correctional officer testified that the victim was badly beaten in the upper body and face. The officer said the victim had several teeth knocked out, his left eye was detached from the socket and he was bleeding profusely.
Handspike was taken to a hospital, but died about an hour and 15 minutes later, officers said.
Hill was tried in Superior Court of Lee County for the offenses of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault. He was convicted in July 1991, with the jury recommending a death sentence two days later.
Georgia Department of Corrections officials say Hill has declined to request a special last meal. He instead will be offered the Jackson institution’s meal tray, consisting of macaroni and cheese, baked beans, mixed vegetables, stir fry vegetables, cornbread, cookie and iced tea.
Hill would be the 53rd man executed in Georgia since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1973. He would be the 30th person put to death by lethal injection.
Presently, there are 94 men and one woman under death sentence in Georgia.
Hill had sought to have the execution delayed by asking the Georgia Supreme Court to rule against the state for substituting a single drug for a three-drug cocktail that had been used in executions. Attorneys argued that the change should have been first been cleared according to the rules of the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.
Earlier this month, the high court ruled that the change in drugs was not subject to the act, lifting a stay of execution that it granted Hill in July while it made that determination.