Kelly Gissendaner was executed by the State of Georgia for planning the murder of her husband.
Kelly Gissendaner had a rough childhood and was sexually molested by multiple men including her stepfather.
She would get married the first time when she was nineteen that only lasted for six months. Kelly would marry her second husband when she was twenty one, the couple would get divorced after a couple of years however they would remarry a few years later
On the day of the murder Gregory Owen would force Kelly Gissendaner husband into a vehicle, brought him to a remote location where he was struck multiple times before being stabbed repeatedly. Kelly would arrive at the crime scene a few minutes later and they would set fire to the vehicle with her husband’s body inside.
Gregory Owen and Kelly Gissendaner were both offered plea deals which would have meant life in prison without parole but not the death penalty. Kelly refused the deal. Gregory Owen on the other hand took the deal and testified against Kelly saying that she approached him to murder her husband. Kelly was sentence to death
Kelly Gissendaner would be executed by lethal injection on September 30, 2015
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Kelly Gissendaner and the victim had been married, divorced, remarried, separated, and reunited between 1989 and 1997. Ms. Gissendaner was in a relationship with Gregory Bruce Owen and at one point stated to a co-worker that she was unhappy with her husband and in love with Owen.
Prior to Gissendaner’s trial, Owen entered an agreement not to seek parole within 25 years, pled guilty, and received a sentence of life in prison. Owen testified at Gissendaner’s trial that it was she who first raised the idea of murder and that she later raised the idea again several other times. Owen suggested divorce as an alternative, but Gissendaner insisted upon murder because she believed she would receive insurance money from her husband’s death and because she believed he “wouldn’t leave [her] alone by just divorcing him.” Gissendaner had previously stated to Owen’s sister that she intended to use the victim’s credit to get a house and then “get rid of him.”
During the days leading up to the murder, Gissendaner made 47 telephone calls to Owen and paged him 18 times. Telephone records also showed that the pair were together at a bank of payphones several hours before the murder.
On the evening of February 7, 1997, Gissendaner drove Owen to her family’s home, gave him a nightstick and a large knife, and left him inside the home to wait for the victim. Gissendaner then drove to a friend’s house, and, upon Gissendaner’s insistence that the group keep their plans for the evening, she and her friends went out to a nightclub.
The victim arrived home shortly after 10:00 p.m. Owen confronted the victim from behind, held a knife to his throat, forced him to drive to a remote location, forced him to walk into the woods and kneel, and then killed him by striking him with the nightstick and then stabbing him repeatedly in the back and neck with the knife. As instructed by Gissendaner, Owen took the victim’s watch and wedding ring before killing him to make the murder appear like a robbery.
Gissendaner returned home from the nightclub at about the time the murder was being carried out, paged Owen with a numeric signal, and then drove to the crime scene. After inquiring if her husband was dead, she took a flashlight and went toward the body to inspect it. Owen burned the victim’s automobile with kerosene provided by Kelly Gissendaner, and the pair returned to their respective homes in Gissendaner’s automobile.
Owen disposed of the nightstick, the knife, a pair of his own jeans, and the victim’s stolen jewelry by placing them in the garbage. A pair of Owen’s sweat pants also worn on the night of the murder was recovered, however, and DNA analysis of blood found on them showed a likely match with the victim’s and Owen’s blood.
After the murder, Kelly Gissendaner concealed her relationship with Owen from police and claimed not to have initiated contact with him for some time. Telephone records, Owen’s testimony, and other witness testimony proved otherwise. After her arrest, Gissendaner called her best friend and confessed to her active and willing role in the murder, although she then called a second time and claimed that she was coerced into participating. Gissendaner wrote a letter while in jail in an effort to hire someone to give perjured testimony and to rob and beat witnesses.
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- When Was Kelly Gissendaner Executed
Kelly Gissendaner was executed by lethal injection on September 30, 2015
- Why Was Kelly Gissendaner Executed
Kelly Gissendaner was executed for arranging the murder of her husband
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