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    A Georgia man convicted of killing his ex-wife and her boyfriend more than two decades ago is scheduled to be executed Wednesday. Donnie Cleveland Lance, 66, is set to receive a lethal injection at the state prison in Jackson for the November 1997 killings of Sabrina “Joy” Lance and Dwight “Butch” Wood Jr. in Jackson County, about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta. Lance went to Wood’s home the night of Nov. 8, 1997, kicked in the front door and shot Wood in the front and back with a shotgun and then beat Joy Lance to death with the butt of the shotgun, according to a Georgia Supreme Court summary of the case. Lance has consistently said he did not kill the pair. There were no witnesses and no murder weapon was ever found. Lance's lawyers have argued that no blood or other physical evidence linked him to the killings but that investigators focused only on him from the start. Lawyers for the state have argued in court filings that the evidence against Lance, “although circumstantial, was overwhelming.” Prosecutors argued Lance had long abused his ex-wife, both during their marriage and after their divorce, and had threatened multiple times to kill her. His lawyers wrote in a clemency application that the two had a troubled relationship and that “alcohol abuse was a significant factor in a history of mutual aggression.” Lance's lawyers have sought DNA testing on various pieces of evidence, arguing the testing could rule Lance out as the killer and could reveal the person responsible. Jackson County Superior Court Judge Nicholas Primm in September declined a request for DNA testing and a new trial, saying that in light of all the evidence presented at trial it's not likely the jury would have reached a different verdict if DNA results had been available. The Georgia Supreme Court declined to take the case, and Lance's lawyers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in. Separately, Lance's lawyers filed a petition last month in Butts County Superior Court alleging that the prosecutor improperly packed the grand jury with people he knew would side with him. Because the grand jury was not randomly selected, Lance's lawyers argue, his death sentence is invalid and unconstitutional. Lawyers for the state countered that those arguments have been previously raised and were rejected by the court. Towaliga Judicial Circuit Superior Court Chief Judge agreed with the state and rejected the petition last week. His lawyers have asked the Georgia Supreme Court to hear an appeal of that decision and to stop his execution from happening in the meantime. Lance's attorneys have also asked the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to spare his life. The board, which is the only authority in Georgia with the power to commute a death sentence, denied clemency after holding a closed-door hearing Tuesday. In the clemency application, Lance's lawyers argued that Joy and Donnie Lance's now-adult son and daughter already lost their mother and would suffer even more if their father was executed. 'We've spent our whole lives with this huge gaping hole in our hearts, but at least we've had dad at our sides,' Stephanie Lance Cape and Jessie Lance wrote in a letter to the parole board. “It's almost impossible to imagine that it could get worse.” Lance's lawyers also noted that the trial court refused a request from his attorney for the appointment of a second lawyer and for funds to hire experts. He spent all his time preparing for the guilt-or-innocence phase of the trial and didn't present any evidence during the penalty phase. The jury that sentenced Lance to death heard nothing about his mental health issues or traumatic brain injuries that affected his mental health functioning, the application says. Lance has also been a model inmate, with only two minor infraction during his two decades on death row — having too many stamps and refusing to move to a different cell, the clemency application says. Lance would be the first prisoner executed in Georgia this year.
  • A Republican county party chairman has won the special election for a southwest Georgia House seat left vacant by the death of a lawmaker last year. Joe Campbell of Camilla received just over 58% of the nearly 4,900 votes cast, according to unofficial results from the Georgia secretary of state’s office Tuesday. Campbell will replace Republican Jay Powell, a longtime lawmaker who died at a legislative retreat in November. State House District 171 spans parts of Colquitt, Decatur and Mitchell counties. Jewell Howard, a Democrat from Baconton, finished in second with just over 33% of the votes. Tommy Akridge, a Republican from Camilla, received roughly 8% of votes. Campbell is chairman of the Mitchell County Republican Party and has said he’ll focus on agricultural issues. The seat will be up for grabs again in a general election in November.
  • The winning numbers in Monday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's 'Cash 4 Night' game were: 1-4-4-3 (one, four, four, three)
  • The winning numbers in Monday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's 'Cash 3 Night' game were: 8-5-7 (eight, five, seven)
  • The winning numbers in Tuesday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's 'Fantasy 5' game were: 06-07-17-30-34 (six, seven, seventeen, thirty, thirty-four) Estimated jackpot: $150,000
  • The winning numbers in Tuesday evening's drawing of the 'Mega Millions' game were: 17-36-47-51-62, Mega Ball: 21, Megaplier: 3 (seventeen, thirty-six, forty-seven, fifty-one, sixty-two; Mega Ball: twenty-one; Megaplier: three) Estimated jackpot: $141 million
  • Missouri overcame a 20-point deficit in the second half to defeat Georgia 72-69 on Tuesday night in Columbia, ending a four-game losing streak. “I needed that to sleep a little bit better,” Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said. The Bulldogs (11-9, 1-6 Southeastern Conference) jumped to an early lead, due largely in part to star freshman Anthony Edwards (18 points per game), who scored 14 in the first half alone to put Georgia ahead 42-30 at halftime. Then, as Georgia’s offense lagged, Missouri (10-10, 2-5) woke up. “I don’t think we stayed urgent enough on the defensive end,” Georgia coach Tom Crean said. Missouri guard Xavier Pinson scored 16 points in the last 14 minutes of the game, fueling a comeback aided by forward Reed Nikko. “I feel like in the first half, we kinda just played and played and let them score, then hope we’d score,” Pinson said. “In the second half, it was more, ‘They’re not going to score, and we’re going to score.’” Nikko reached a career high with 13 points, 11 of which came in the second half. “He brought what he always brings: intelligence, leadership as an older guy, battle-tested, a guy that’s committed to a program,” Martin said. Leading by two with nine seconds left, Nikko blocked a potential game-tying jump shot from Edwards. “Momentum is always up for grabs,” Crean said. “And in the second half, Reed Nikko took momentum from us. …Reed Nikko changed the energy of the game for them.” Edwards played every minute of the game, finishing with 23 points. Georgia’s Tyree Crump and Toumani Camara scored 13 and 12, respectively. Missouri ran into foul trouble early, finishing the first half with 12. Mitchell Smith and Nikko both finished the game with four. Martin praised the Tigers’ ability to drive to the rim. The team shot just 28% from field-goal range in its Saturday loss to West Virginia. Against Georgia, that improved to 43%. “We settled for 3-point shots in the first half, and I thought our guys did a better job of attacking, attacking, attacking, and forcing those guys to block shots and forcing the officials to make calls,” Martin said. “We did that in the second half, and it changed the game for us. More important, we did a good job of sitting down and defending in the second half.” The Tigers held leading Georgia rebounder Rayshaun Hammonds to two off the glass. Hammonds had averaged 8.1 rebounds per game prior to facing Missouri. MISSING KOBE Missouri freshman forward Kobe Brown said he was hit hard by the news of Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash on Sunday. Brown’s father, Greg, had met Bryant and named his son after the NBA star. Brown wears No. 24 because of Bryant and called him a role model. “I was bummed,” Brown said. “It took a toll. I send my regards to all the families that were involved in the crash.” MARK SMITH HURT Missouri guard Mark Smith, who had averaged 11.4 points per game prior to Tuesday, did not play in the second half after an injury in the first. “I thought it was his ankle, but it’s probably his lower back,” Martin said. Mark Smith missed all four of his shot attempts in the first half. BIG PICTURE Missouri: After a sleepy start, the team’s late comeback proved enough to break the losing streak and avoid a second straight home loss. Nikko’s offensive production was key, as the team has struggled offensively without forward Jeremiah Tilmon, who hasn’t played since Jan. 4 because of a foot injury. Georgia: Even with 23 points from Edwards, the Bulldogs’ offense went cold when the Tigers started their comeback. Georgia scored eight points in the last 12 minutes of the game. UP NEXT Missouri: The Tigers will head to Columbia, South Carolina, to face the Gamecocks on Saturday. Georgia: The Bulldogs will continue their SEC play against Texas A&M on Saturday at home. ___ For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • Police told Channel 2 Action News they are searching for a man they say robbed a woman at gunpoint in DeKalb County. That robbery happened on Church Street in Decatur, just a few weeks after a man tried to abduct a woman in the same area that is full of college students. Student Olivia Provost showed Channel 2′s Audrey Washington the email her school, Agnes Scott College, sent, warning students about the armed robbery. On Tuesday, police gave Washington surveillance video from January 22. According to investigators, the suspect approached the victim near the tunnel on East College Avenue at the intersection of Church and East Howard Avenue. The victim told police the suspect put a gun to her stomach and demanded her cellphone and ring. The robbery comes just about a month after a man tried to abduct a woman while she waited for her rideshare driver along Sams Street. In that case, the woman fought back and got away. The suspect took off down East College Avenue. Provost told Washington she recently had a terrifying moment herself. The college sophomore said that just a few days ago, a man tired to pick her up as she waited for her rideshare driver. “I almost got into a fake Uber the other day,' Provost said. “I think it was someone trying to take me.” Women in the area say they’re being extra cautious. “Constantly be aware. I try to always look behind me,” Provost said. If you have any information, you are urged to contact DeKalb police.
  • How cool is this? On Tuesday evening, NASA astronaut Christina H. Koch shared a pic of Atlanta from space. Along with the picture, Koch included the caption, “Looking good, Atlanta!” Looking good, Atlanta! Good evening to the ATL. pic.twitter.com/vJuckwXDE5 — Christina H Koch (@Astro_Christina) January 28, 2020 Koch is a current resident of the International Space Station, the world-class lab orbiting Earth 250 miles above. In late 2019, Koch broke the record of the longest single spaceflight by a woman with 288 days in space, according to ABC News. Last week, Koch said living in space has given her a new appreciation for Earth. “At times, gazing out at the planet has evoked feelings of being #EarthSick for the people and places I love so much,” Koch tweeted. Thanks for sharing, Christina!
  • Kyle Lowry locked up another spot in Raptors franchise history and got a hearty congratulations from the high-flying star who was once the face of basketball in Toronto. Lowry had 12 points and 11 assists while becoming Toronto's career assist leader and the Raptors beat the Atlanta Hawks 130-114 Tuesday night for their season-best eighth straight win. Serge Ibaka had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Pascal Siakam added 24 points and Fred VanVleet had 19 as the Raptors won their 10th in a row over Atlanta. Toronto never trailed and led by as many as 28, maintaining a double-digit edge throughout the second half. With his ninth assist, a long outlet pass to Terence Davis in the fourth, Lowry moved past Jose Calderon (3,770) on Toronto’s career list. Lowry said it was special to reach the milestone with former Raptors star Vince Carter in attendance as a member of the Hawks. “It was awesome to be able to get it here tonight, in front of the home crowd, in front of Vince,” Lowry sad. “He didn’t start the organization but he kind of put it on the map and continued to make this thing grow. He’s always been a big supporter of mine and the Raptors.” Lowry and Carter, who are friends and golf buddies, embraced near half court after the record was announced late in the game. “He’s very crafty, he’s very smart,” Carter said of Lowry. “His basketball IQ is up there with some of the best in my opinion.” Calderon tweeted a congratulatory video to Lowry, who finished with eight rebounds and narrowly missed his second triple-double of the season. “If somebody had to do it, I’m really happy that it’s you,” Calderon told Lowry. “Enjoy this moment and many more.” Lowry is already Toronto’s franchise leader in 3-point field goals and steals. John Collins had 28 points and 12 rebounds, and Trae Young had 18 points and 13 assists for the Hawks. Cam Reddish also scored 18 points, De’Andre Hunter had 15 and Carter added 10 as Atlanta lost for the fourth time in six games. “We could have made this game a little bit different with the defensive intensity,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “We lacked that, really, because the shots weren’t falling and we let that affect us.” Raptors center Marc Gasol scored 10 points but was unable to return after leaving early in the third because of a sore left hamstring. Gasol missed 12 games because of a strained left hamstring between Dec. 18 and Jan. 12. Toronto also lost forward OG Anunoby to a sore left shoulder late in the game. Coach Nick Nurse had no update on either of his injured starters following the game. TIP-INS Hawks: F Bruno Fernando (left calf) was inactive, C Alex Len sat for the second straight game because of a right hip flexor strain, and G DeAndre' Bembry missed his fourth straight game, the past three of which have been because of inflammation in his right hand. ... Toronto honored Carter with a video tribute between the first and second quarters. ... Young shot 1 for 7 from 3-point range. Raptors: Toronto didn’t turn the ball over in the second and had just two turnovers in the first half. ... F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (sprained right ankle) was inactive. Hollis-Jefferson left Sunday’s win at San Antonio in the second quarter and did not return. ... F Patrick McCaw (broken nose) missed his third straight game. ... The Raptors outscored the Hawks 61-26 in bench points. LOST LEGEND Playing at home for the first time since Kobe Bryant's death Sunday, the Raptors honored the late star with a pregame video tribute. Fans rose for an impromptu standing ovation and yelled ‘Kobe, Kobe!’ following the video before the scoreboard counted down 24 seconds of silence. 81 When the Hawks reached 81 points late in the third, the digits were displayed in purple on the scoreboard in tribute to Bryant, who scored a career-high 81 against Toronto on Jan. 22, 2006. The plan was to highlight the numbers 8, 24 and 81, but neither team hit on any of them until the Hawks got to 81 on Young’s layup. MOVING ON UP Carter played his 1,522nd game, tying Dirk Nowitzki for third on the NBA’s all-time list. Only Robert Parish (1,611) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,560) have played in more. HAPPY NEW YEAR Toronto is 10-3 in January with two games remaining this month, at Cleveland and at Detroit. UP NEXT Hawks: Host Philadelphia on Thursday night. Raptors: Visit Cleveland on Thursday night. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports