- Associated Press - Monday, February 9, 2015

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia is set to execute its only female death row inmate later this month, which would be the first time in about seven decades that the state has executed a woman.

Kelly Renee Gissendaner is scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. on Feb. 25 at the state prison in Jackson, the attorney general’s office said Monday. The last time Georgia executed a woman was in 1945.

Gissendaner was convicted of killing her husband, Douglas Gissendaner, in February 1997. Prosecutors have said Gissendaner was having an affair with her co-defendant Gregory Owen and plotted with him to kill her husband.

Gissendaner told police her husband failed to return home Feb. 7, 1997, after having dinner with friends in Lawrenceville, just outside Atlanta. His burned-out car was found two days later. His body was found about a week after that, roughly a mile from the car, in a remote wooded area of Gwinnett County. He had been stabbed several times.

The Gissendaners initially married in September of 1989, separated in December 1991 and eventually divorced in March 1993, according to information provided by the attorney general’s office.

They began seeing each other again in February 1995, remarried in May 1995 and separated in September 1995. Douglas Gissendaner filed for divorce but later dropped the suit and the pair started dating again in May 1996 and bought a home together in December 1996, prosecutors said.

Kelly Gissendaner had met Owen in September 1995, split up with him in April 1996 and they didn’t see each other again until October of that year. She told one of her co-workers she wasn’t happy with her husband and was in love with Owen, prosecutors said.

Gissendaner told Owen’s sister that she was only staying with her husband to use his credit and money to buy a house and would then get rid of him, prosecutors said.

When Gissendaner mentioned the idea of killing her husband in November 1996, Owen suggested she get a divorce, prosecutors said. But she said her husband wouldn’t leave her alone if she just divorced him and repeatedly brought up the idea of killing him before Owen finally agreed, prosecutors said.

When Douglas Gissendaner returned home from visiting with friends on Feb. 7, 1997, Owen forced him into his car, took him to a remote area and killed him, prosecutors said.

Owen initially told investigators he had nothing to do with the killing but eventually confessed and implicated Kelly Gissendaner, prosecutors said.

Owen pleaded guilty and received a life prison sentence. He testified against Gissendaner at her trial. A jury convicted Gissendaner and sentenced her to death in November 1998.


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