Cook put to death for killing Mercer students

jkovac@macon.comFebruary 21, 2013 

BUTTS COUNTY -- Andrew Allen Cook, who murdered a Mercer University couple at a Lake Juliette lover’s lane 18 years ago, was executed at the state prison here Thursday night.

Cook was scheduled to die by lethal injection at 7 p.m. at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center near Jackson. But the execution was delayed by almost 4 hours as lawyers and prison officials waited to hear from the Supreme Court.

The high court began reviewing Cook’s latest appeal about 6 p.m. Thursday, an hour before his execution was initially scheduled. The court finally denied Cook’s bid to postpone the execution about 10:30 p.m.

Cook was led to the death chamber about 10:45 p.m., and he was pronounced dead at 11:22 p.m.

The court had declined to hear an appeal from Cook on Jan. 22, and it also rejected his application for a stay of execution on Wednesday. Earlier in the day Thursday, the Georgia Supreme Court rejected Cook’s plea for a delay for the second time. From there, Cook’s lawyers turned to the federal courts to try to delay or stop his execution.

Cook was 20 years old in January 1995 when he happened upon Mercer students Grant Hendrickson, 22, and Michele Cartagena, 19, as the two sat in her brand-new Honda Civic at the lakeside a dozen or so miles north of Macon. Cook didn’t know his victims.

The youngest of four children, he had lived with his mother in Jones County before moving into a trailer northeast of Gray. He sometimes fished at Lake Juliette.

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