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Execution Set For Man In 1989 Rape And Murder Of Atlanta Teen

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Marcus Wellons is scheduled to be put to death on June 17 for raping and strangling 15-year-old India Roberts. (PAUL BUCK/AFP/Getty Images)

Marcus Wellons is scheduled to be put to death on June 17 for raping and strangling 15-year-old India Roberts. (PAUL BUCK/AFP/Getty Images)

ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia death row inmate convicted of raping and murdering a suburban Atlanta teenager as she walked to the school bus is to be executed next month.

The execution of Marcus Wellons has been scheduled for June 17 at 7 p.m., Attorney General Sam Olens said Wednesday in a written statement. Wellons was convicted in 1993 of raping and strangling his 15-year-old neighbor, India Roberts, a high school sophomore.

Roberts was killed the morning of Aug. 31, 1989, after she said goodbye to her mother and left for school. Not long after she left her home, a neighbor heard muffled screams from inside the nearby apartment of Gail Saunders, authorities said.

Authorities say Wellons had been dating Saunders and lived with her at her apartment in the summer of 1989.

Later that afternoon, a man driving near a wooded area by the apartment complex called police saying he had seen a man carrying what appeared to be a body in a sheet.

Police found Roberts’ naked body in the woods with cuts on one side of her face and ear, and bruises on her neck. Authorities later searched Saunders’ apartment and found Roberts’ notebooks and earrings. In a bedroom, they found Roberts’ underwear and blood on the mattress.

Evidence suggested Wellons forcibly brought Roberts from the kitchen to the bedroom and strangled her, authorities said. An autopsy indicated she had been raped.

A jury found Wellons guilty of rape and murder and recommended the death penalty in June 1993.

A lawyer for Wellons said she had no comment on the setting of an execution date.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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