ATLANTA — The federal government said on Thursday that it would begin resuming executions this year, the first that would occur since 2003.
The Department of Justice said five men would be executed in December, all convicted in child murder cases.
There are 55 other federal prisoners with a death sentence, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, and three of them are from Georgia.
These are their stories:
William LeCroy, Jr.: A Marietta native, LeCroy served 10 years in federal prison for offenses that included a statutory rape conviction in a case in which the victim was his 13-year-old stepsister and a string of Cobb County burglaries in 1990-91.
Court documents say that when he was arrested in March 1991, they found notes in his car that included phrases like “be ruthless and famous” and “rape rob and pillage.”
After his August 2001 release, he moved back in with his mother and stepfather in Blue Ridge.
A 2014 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling says that months later, in October that year, he was left alone at the family’s cabin for the weekend.
On a Sunday night, he allegedly broke into the home of Joann Tiesler through a bedroom window while the woman was out. He was armed with a shotgun, knife and plastic cable ties.
According to the court, as Tiesler entered her home, LeCroy attacked her from behind, striking her in the head with the butt of his shotgun and then tying her hands behind her back.
He then raped her and “strangled her with an electrical cord, slashed her throat with his knife, and stabbed her five times in the back before wiping the knife off on her shirt.”
He was captured two days later, attempting to cross the border from Minnesota to Canada in Tiesler’s car.
According the court, a note was found in the car written on the back of a map.
It said: “Please please please forgive me Joanne [sic]. You were an angel and I killed you. Now I have to live with that and I can never go home. I am a vagabond and doomed to hell.”
He later said during a psychiatric evaluation that he had come to believe Tiesler was in fact a childhood babysitter he knew as “Tinkerbell” who had molested him.
The doctor to whom he told this concluded he “could not present an affirmative defense of not guilty by reason of insanity” and his lawyers chose not to directly pursue an insanity defense. The 11th Circuit rejected LeCroy’s appeal that this was an incompetent defense.
Meier Brown: On the morning of Nov. 30, 2002, Brown went to the post office in Fleming, Georgia, picked up his mail, and brought it back home.
Then, according to court documents, he went back to rob the post office. The documents state that, in a confession, Brown said he brought a knife and went to the counter to ask for three money orders.
When postal worker Sallie Gaglia turned from him, the 2013 ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals says, he “jumped over the counter, and … tripped, fell into her, and cut her with his knife.”
“He told police that at this point he decided he had to kill Sallie Gaglia because she knew him,” it adds.
According to the court, Brown stabbed Gaglia 10 tines as he took $1,175 in money orders.
Brown "left her to die, alone and lying face down, on the floor,” the ruling states.
Witnesses at the trial testified that Gaglia was “an active member of her church, took care of (her) mother, was devoted to her sons” and “was more than willing to help anyone.”
Anthony Battle: According to court documents, Battle was already serving a life sentence when, in 1994, he allegedly killed correctional officer D’Antonio Washington with a hammer at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta.
Battle was said to have been found standing near Washington as the guard was discovered on the ground bleeding from his head. Battle's clothes were splattered in blood and the hammer was found behind a vending machine he was standing by.
Court documents say he confessed to the killing the same day.
In a later interview, he told agents “that he felt he was getting ‘bossed around’ at (the prison) and that he thought he might get more respect by killing Officer Washington.”
“Battle also told agents he was happy about Officer Washington’s death and had no remorse whatsoever,” says a 2005 judgment by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, affirming Battle’s death sentence.
Battle’s earlier life sentence was for the 1987 sexual assault and murder of his wife, a U.S. Marine named Minnie Foreman.
Washington, 31 years old when he died, is one of 26 federal corrections officers who have been killed on the job.