An execution date has been set for a man who was convicted of a 1982 killing in Telfair County.
John Wayne Conner, of Milan, is set to die by lethal injection on the evening of July 14, according to a news release Friday from the Georgia Attorney General’s office. Conner was sentenced to die by electric chair exactly 34 years from the date of his execution for the beating death of 29-year-old James T. White.
Conner, then 26, and White rode with friends to a party in Eastman the night of Jan. 9, 1982. After drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana, the group returned to Milan and White and Conner walked off together.
The two began to argue just after midnight following a disagreement. Conner kicked and beat White in the head and face so hard that his teeth, and portions of the attached bones, were broken away from his upper and lower jaws, according to the news release. The trauma caused bleeding in and around White’s brain, which flowed to his lungs, causing him to drown in his own blood, a doctor who performed the autopsy testified at Conner’s hearing.
White’s body was found the next day in drainage ditch near Milan Elementary School, according to The Telegraph archives.
It took a Telfair County jury just over an hour to decide July 14, 1982 on Conner’s death sentence.
In its sentencing in the McRae courtroom, the jury explained that “the offense of murder was outrageous and wantonly vile, horrible and inhumane, and that it did involve depravity of mind, and aggravated battery to the victim.”
Information from The Telegraph archives was used in this report.