January 16, 2020 / 11:14 AM / 3 days ago

Georgia man to be executed for killing store clerk in $38 robbery

(Reuters) - A Georgia man faces execution on Thursday, three decades after he was convicted of fatally shooting a convenience store clerk and stealing $38 after he and two friends went bar hopping.

Jimmy Fletcher Meders, 58, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson at 7 p.m. EST for the 1987 murder of Don Anderson.

Meders, who was convicted and sentenced to death in 1989, would be the second inmate in the United States to be executed in 2020. Georgia has executed 75 inmates since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

Meders has waged several unsuccessful appeals in state and federal courts, claiming that his legal team was provided ineffective assistance. As of Wednesday, a request for the Georgia Supreme Court to halt the execution was pending.

On Oct. 13, 1987, Meders met his boss, Randy Harris, Harris’ cousin Bill Arnold and Arnold’s friend Greg Creel. The men spent the day drinking before they dropped off Harris at a Best Western Motel and went bar hopping in Glynn County.

At 2:30 a.m., Creel said he was hungry so the trio stopped at a Jiffy Store. As Arnold waited in the car, Creel went to the back of the store to warm a package of sausage biscuits in the microwave and Meders headed to the check-out counter where he pulled out a .38 caliber revolver, prosecutors said.

They said he shot Anderson in the chest and head before grabbing $38 and food stamps from the cash register.

Meders dropped the men off at a nearby trailer park after they fled the store. He then went back to the Best Western where he told Harris he “blowed a man’s head off over $38,” court records showed.

Meders was arrested after an informant told authorities he was involved in the crime. Investigators later matched the serial numbers on dollar bills found on Meders with bills at the crime scene. They also found the murder weapon under the mattress of Meders’ water bed, prosecutors said.

The three other men were never implicated in the robbery or murder.

Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago; Editing by Tom Brown

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