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Friday, June 24, 2011 - 4:01am

Convicted Killer Put To Death

Updated: 3 years ago.
Death row inmate Roy Willard Blankenship was put to death Thursday night, the first in the state using a new three-drug combination. (photo-publik15)

A Georgia man convicted of killing an elderly Savannah woman more than three decades ago has been executed by state corrections officials.

Roy Willard Blankenship was put to death by lethal injection Thursday night at the state prison in Jackson after state and federal courts turned down his appeals. The 56-year-old was pronounced dead at 8:37 p.m.

Blankenship was the first person put to death in Georgia using the sedative pentobarbital as part of the three-drug execution combination, and his lawyers claimed the drug was unsafe and unreliable. But state and federal courts rejected their appeals.

He was put to death for the 1978 murder of Sarah Mims Bowen, who died of heart failure after she was raped in her Savannah apartment.

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