Source AP ©

Georgia man to be executed for killing his wife and two stepdaughters

A Georgia man is scheduled to die by lethal injection for killing his wife and two stepdaughters in 1987.

If carried out, the execution would be Georgia's first in nearly two years.

John Hightower's attorneys were trying several last-minute appeals including a clemency petition and a request to the U.S. Supreme Court for a delay to keep him from the death chamber.

Hightower, 63, deserves to live because he has remorse for the crimes and has tried to redeem himself in prison, his attorney, Jack Martin, argued at the clemency hearing Monday. Martin also argued that the prosecutor acted improperly by removing blacks as potential jurors during the trial. Hightower is black.

The prosecutor, Joe Briley, who is now in private practice, did not immediately return a phone call to his office Monday.

Hightower, 63, shot his wife, Dorothy Hightower, and his two stepdaughters, Evelyn Reaves and Sandra Reaves, in the head.

According to authorities, Hightower admitted he had been having marital problems and had been drinking and snorting cocaine hours before he entered the home where the victims were.

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