BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. — A man who killed his ex-girlfriend and another woman nearly 25 years ago was executed Thursday night in Georgia, and he spoke one-on-one with Channel 2's Mark Winne the day before his death.
Channel 2's Alyssa Hyman confirmed that Scotty Garnell Morrow, 52, was executed at 9:38 p.m.
Morrow was convicted of murder in the shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend, Barbara Ann Young, and her friend, Tonya Woods, at Young's Gainesville home in December 1994. A third woman also was shot but survived.
The state Supreme Court on Thursday afternoon denied Morrow's last try to stop his execution.
The day before, Winne talked to the convicted murderer over the phone to hear his final thoughts.
"Are you prepared to die?" Winne asked Morrow.
"I don’t want to die, but I'm at peace, you know, if God so wills it that it's gonna be done," Morrow said. "I don’t want to, but if that’s what happens, I can't change anything."
“Do you bear any ill will against anyone?” Winne asked.
“No, I hold no ill will in my heart against anyone,” Morrow said.
“As we’re speaking right now, where are you?” Winne asked.
“I’m in a medical cell in Jackson,” Morrow said.
“You’re in the death watch cell as we speak?” Winne asked.
“That is correct,” Morrow said.
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He indicated he expected his final words to come from his heart and he maintained he was speaking from his heart in the interview with Winne.
“You’re not saying anything justifies or excuses what happened, is that correct?” Winne said.
“That is correct,” Morrow said.
But it’s clear two hearts no longer beat on this earth because of what Morrow did.
“Have you ever denied that you murdered Barbara Young and Tonya Woods?” Winne asked.
“No, I’ve never denied that. I took full responsibility from the beginning,” Morrow said.
“Why did you do it?” Winne asked.
“It was a crime of passion. I lost control of my emotions,” Morrow said.
A court document introduced by the state, however, provided evidence the murders “were not impulsive, but rather that, on the morning of the murders, petitioner took a loaded gun, drove to Ms. Young’s home, kicked in Ms. Young’s door, exchanged words with Ms. Woods and began his killing spree.”
The interview was conducted in a three-way telephone call facilitated by Rebecca Herrera.
“I don’t have sympathy for Scotty Morrow based on the crime,” Herrera said.
She said she's an aspiring journalist working on books and a podcast based on her recorded conversations with high-profile killers.
Herrera said she began reaching out to killers as she came to terms with being shot six times herself in 1986 by a gunman who killed her close friend.
The killer's girlfriend was holding his baby in front of Herrera.
“I would like to give my sincerest and deepest apology to the Young family and to the Woods family and I would also extend a very deep apologies to Ms. Latoya Horne. If this gives you some type of peace, then so be it but I would hope that you would find it in your hearts to forgive,” Morrow said. “My faith in God is strong. I ask God to give me peace and comfort in my time of stress, my time of need and he will do that.”
Late Thursday night, Morrow and his attorneys made one final attempt to stop the execution, petitioning the Supreme Court of the United States.
The court made its decision quickly and ruled the execution would go on.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution journalist Christian Boone was one of the media witnesses in the room during the execution.
“Morrow was very composed. He had not taken a sedative before. He was very contrite. He asked for the forgiveness from the Woods family and the Young family, thanked his own family for their support -- and his final words were, ‘I love you all, God bless,’" Boone said.
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