News Midday Update: Ga. high court to hear death penalty appeal for Griffin businessman's killer; Debut set for hurt zebra found on Ga. interstate; authorities launch DUI crackdown

The Georgia Supreme Court has a hearing scheduled for the death penalty case of Frederick Whatley, condemned for the 1995 killing of a Griffin businessman.

The court will hear arguments today on Whatley's appeal of a Superior Court denial of his petition for habeas corpus, which would allow him to challenge his conviction in Butts County where he is held on death row for the murder of Ed Allen, owner of Roy's Bait Shop.

The Supreme Court upheld Whatley's conviction and sentence in 1998, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his case in 1999.

Defense lawyers argue that the habeas judge made a number of mistakes and his trial attorney failed to prepare his case properly.

— Associated Press

Debut set for hurt zebra found on Ga. interstate

Evidence, the injured baby zebra found along Interstate 75 in April, is almost ready for his public debut.

The zebra has been recovering at his new home, an animal rescue center called Noah's Ark in Locust Grove, about 40 miles south of Atlanta. The center's visitors can see him starting July 12.

Noah's Ark has more than 1,000 animals, including lions, tigers and bison.

It also is home for up to 24 children, including many who also have been abused and abandoned.

Rescuers believe Evidence, estimated to be about 6 months old, fell from a truck and then was hit by another vehicle. He was found April 8 eating grass along an I-75 exit.

He spent weeks at Auburn University's veterinary school getting treatment for severe injuries.

- Associated Press

Georgia cracks down on drunk drivers

Georgia law enforcement officials are cracking down on drunken driving.

Authorities are planning increased patrols and sobriety check points across the state over the next two weeks as part of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety's annual Operation Zero Tolerance campaign. The campaign is held every year in conjunction with the Fourth of July holiday - one of the deadliest periods on U.S. roads.

This summer, authorities also will be enforcing the state's new DUI law that takes effect July 1. Under the new law, a fourth DUI will result in a felony charge.ld businessman from Quinton says he chose McDonald’s because it’s convenient.

– Associated Press


– We'll let you know if anyone qualified to run for the vacant Bibb County school board seat that had been held by Bob Nickels.

– Vice President Dick Cheney will be in Middle Georgia today to campaign for Republican Rick Goddard in his effort to unseat U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall. We'll let you know when Cheney arrives.


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