Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, was scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. on Wednesday by the Georgia Department of Corrections. It was announced early in the day that the execution would be delayed. No reason was given by the Department of Corrections, but Georgia is expecting a snow storm to come through the area starting on Wednesday afternoon. Gissendaner’s execution has been rescheduled for Monday. Gissendaner will be the first female executed in the state of Georgia in over 70 years.
Gissendaner was found guilty in the 1997 murder of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner. FOX 6 reports that Kelly plotted with her then-boyfriend, Gregory Owen, to carry out the gruesome murder. The two were romantically involved, and Owen was pressuring Gissendaner for a divorce, but she had told him that filing for divorce would not be enough to keep him away.
Details of the crime were laid out by Attorney General Sam Olens. At the trial, Olens stated that on February 7, 1997, Gissendaner went out dancing with some girlfriends for the evening, but before she left she provided Owen with a nightstick and a hunting knife. Owen then waited for Douglas to come home, and when he arrived around 11:30 p.m., Owen forced him into his car and drove him out to the woods.
Once they were in a remote area, Owen ordered Gissendaner out of the car, and decided to make it look like a robbery by taking his wallet and watch. Owen then proceeded to beat Douglas in the head with the nightstick, and then stabbed him in the neck eight to ten times.
Kelly arrived at the scene just as the murders were taking place, and got out of the car to check that her husband was actually dead. Kelly and Owen then retrieved a can of kerosene out of the car, and set Douglas’ car on fire in an attempt to hide evidence.
After Gissendaner was found guilty and sentenced to death, her attorney, Edwin Wilson, said he thought the jury would never sentence Kelly to death. His told FOX 6 his reason for believing that, quoted below.
“She was a woman and because she did not actually kill Doug. … I should have pushed her to take the plea but did not because I thought we would get straight up life if she was convicted.”
ABC reports that Gissendaner requested a clemancy hearing, and that hearing was held on Tuesday. It was announced on Wednesday that her request had been denied, and the Department of Corrections would go forward with the execution.
The last two women to be executed in the United States were both from the state of Texas, according to a previous report by the Inquisitr. Georgia has not executed a woman since Lena Baker, an African-American woman from Randolph County, in 1945. Baker was sentenced to death by electrocution for the shooting death of her boss, Ernest Knight. Gissendaner will not be put to death by electrocution like Baker was; she will be receiving a lethal injection during her final moments of life.