Execution date set for Ga. man convicted in 1992 murder of Newton County man

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ATLANTA — A Georgia death-row inmate convicted of killing a man who demanded he pay him back for stealing and cashing some of his personal checks is scheduled to be executed in early March.

Brian Keith Terrell, 46, will be put to death on March 10, the Georgia Attorney General's office said in a statement Friday.

Terrell was on parole when he stole 10 checks belonging to John Watson, 70, of Covington in June 1992 and signed his own name on some of them, prosecutors said. Watson was a close friend of Terrell's mother, and he and Terrell were also acquaintances.

Watson told Terrell's mother and sheriff's officials about the theft and agreed not to press charges if most of the stolen money was returned the next day.

But on the day he was to return the money, Terrell had his cousin drive him to Watson's house, where prosecutors have said Terrell shot Watson multiple times as the older man was leaving for a dialysis appointment.

Terrell later dragged Watson to a secluded area and severely beat him, prosecutors said. Bones in Watson's jaw, nose, cheek, forehead and eye socket were broken during the attack and some of Watson's teeth were knocked out. Authorities have said a piece of splintered bone also penetrated Watson's brain during the beating.

Prosecutors said Terrell took his son to the zoo after the attack and disposed of the gun there.

Terrell was indicted on charges of malice murder and 10 counts of forgery. Prosecutors said he also had been involved in an armed home-invasion robbery of DeKalb County drug dealers in 1990.

Terrell's first trial in Watson's death ended in a mistrial. He was conviction and sentenced to death in a second trial, but the conviction was overturned because of an error during jury selection. Terrell was tried again in Walton County after a change of venue from Newton County in 2001 and was sentenced to death.

He is the fourth Georgia inmate to be scheduled for execution in 2015.

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