The execution of condemned killer Andy Cook is scheduled to proceed Thursday night after the Supreme Court of Georgia dismissed his motion to delay it.
In its ruling, released at 2:39 p.m., the state's high court said it was dismissing the motion because it was not first filed and denied in Monroe County Superior Court, where Cook was originally sentenced.
For now, there is no court order preventing Cooks execution from going forward.
Cook, 38, is scheduled to be put to death at 7 p.m. by lethal injection at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison near Jackson.
Earlier Thursday, the state Supreme Court took Cook's case and that of Warren Lee Hill back from the state Court of Appeals.
Defense lawyers had contended that both executions should be stopped because the lethal injection drug pentobarbital was being dispensed without a prescription.
Lawyers for Cook and Hill, another prisoner slated for execution earlier this week, had filed appeals contending that the state is breaking the law by using pentobarbital during executions without a prescription. The Georgia Court of Appeals delayed both executions to review that challenge.
On Thursday, however, the state Supreme Court issued an order saying that it was taking the case back and would consider the requests to postpone the executions.
The state Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected Cook's bid for clemency Wednesday, and his lawyers continued their legal fight to keep him from being put to death Thursday night.
Wednesday evening, the Georgia Court of Appeals temporarily halted his scheduled execution.
Word of that move came hours after Cook, 38, was denied clemency by the state Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Cook was convicted and sent to death row in March 1998 for the 1995 slayings of two Mercer University students.
Grant Hendrickson, 22, and his 19-year-old girlfriend, Michele Cartagena, were shot to death while they sat in her car at a Lake Juliette lovers lane in the wee hours of Jan. 3, 1995.
Wednesday, one of Cooks lawyers, Robin Painter, declined comment on the last-ditch actions his attorneys were pursuing.
The lawyers had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in. But a court order said Cooks application for a stay of execution had been denied along with his petition for a rehearing.
Cook is one of two Georgia inmates scheduled for execution this week. Warren Lee Hills execution was put on hold Tuesday, less than an hour before he was to die by lethal injection.
Cook and Hill argue the state is violating the law by using pentobarbital in executions without a prescription.
On Wednesday, the state asked the court to deny Cooks request for a stay and lift the stay it granted for Hill. The state argues that the challenge is frivolous, and it is seeking a ruling from the Georgia Supreme Court.
A few days ago, Cook put in an order for his last meal consisting of steak, baked potato, potato wedges, fried shrimp, lemon meringue pie and soda, a statement from prison officials said.
As she was driving to Georgia from her home in Tennessee late last week, Cooks mother, Sandra, said by phone, Its a very emotional time for all of us. ... Everybody is just on pins and needles.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.