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Georgia Executes Defiant British Native

Sat., April 8, 1995

A British native who killed for $60 was electrocuted Friday night moments after spitting at the prison warden when asked for a final statement.

Nicholas Lee Ingram was pronounced dead at 9:15 p.m., prison officials said.

His impending execution had triggered a media frenzy in Britain and a torrent of phone calls and letters, including one from the archbishop of Canterbury pleading for leniency.

Ingram was defiant to the end, glaring at the witnesses. After being strapped into the electric chair, he spat at Warden Gerry Thomas when Thomas asked if he wanted to make a statement.

Ingram, 31, was sentenced to death for abducting 55-year-old J.C. Sawyer from his suburban Atlanta home in 1983, robbing him of $60, tying him to a tree and shooting him in the head. He also shot Sawyer’s wife; she survived and identified Ingram as the killer.

Ingram, who held dual citizenship, was born in England in 1963 to a British mother and American father. The family moved to Georgia a year later.

Ingram’s mother had asked the British government to intervene. But Prime Minister John Major, visiting Washington, D.C., this week, declined.

The archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, said Thursday he sent a letter to the parole board noting that Ingram already spent some 12 years “suffering the mental and spiritual anguish of anticipating his execution.”

“Show mercy and commute the death penalty to a sentence which offers eventual hope of fresh life and rehabilitation,” Carey wrote.



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