Mayor Wetherington talks about Carlton Gary

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Convicted murderer Carlton Gary will be put to death Wednesday, for the deaths of three Columbus women murdered in the late 70's.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles began deliberating Monday, following Gary's clemency hearing and their decision is Gary is not granted a stay of execution.

Several city officials have been asked to witness the Wednesday execution and even though Mayor Jim Wetherington turned down the invitation, he agreed to sit down with News Leader Nine addressing how the killings have impacted our community.

Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington remembers clearly the investigation leading up to the arrest of Carlton Gary, "I was the police chief when we finally arrested him. After that I left the department in 1995 and he kept appealing, appealing, appealing, all the way up the ladder and finally he exhausted all his appeals and they set an execution date."

Wetherington says efforts from the Sheriff's Department, the GBI and the Columbus Police Department lead to "the stocking strangler's" arrest and conviction, "For those of us who were involved in this case, we are relieved that its finally coming to an end."

He says the execution is putting officials' minds to rest and bringing a bit of closure to the victim's families, "It has been a long 20-something years since this happened, maybe close to thirty years and I think they will be relieved just like the rest of us that this case is coming to a close."

Wetherington understand that the serial killings in Columbus will have an impression on those who lived through it, but he hopes residents remember an important lesson.

"Hopefully it won't be a lasting impact but I think all of us that are still living will remember when. We didn't think anything like this could happen in Columbus Georgia but it did. I think you need to take all the precautions you can to make sure you're safe in your home," Mayor Wetherington told News Leader Nine.

Carlton Gary is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection Wednesday night at seven o'clock. News Leader Nine will bring you live coverage from the Georgia Department of Corrections in Jackson.

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