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State sets another execution

78-year-old Savannah woman died during rape

POSTED: January 27, 2011 3:30 p.m.

ATLANTA - Georgia authorities have set the execution date for a man condemned to death three separate times for murdering a 78-year-old woman who was brutally raped in her Savannah apartment more than 30 years ago.

Attorney General Sam Olens said Thursday that Roy Willard Blankenship will be executed at 7 p.m. on Feb. 9 for the 1978 death of Sarah Mims Bowen. She died of heart failure during the attack.

The Georgia Supreme Court twice overturned Blankenship's convictions and sent them back for re-sentencing. He was convicted a third time in 1986, and since then state and federal appeals courts have rejected his court motions.

His execution is scheduled just days after Georgia put to death Emmanuel Hammond for the 1988 murder of a 27-year-old preschool teacher.

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