Lawyers ask Georgia court to halt execution

ATLANTA - Lawyers for a Georgia death row inmate filed a motion with the state's top court on Wednesday seeking to halt his execution until the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether lethal injection violates the Constitution.

Jack Alderman, 56, was convicted of killing his wife in Chatham County more than three decades ago. His execution is scheduled for Oct. 19.

Georgia uses a method of lethal injection 'nearly identical' to the Kentucky case under review by the U.S. Supreme Court, Alderman's brief said.

His lawyers argued if the state proceeds with the execution it creates an 'unnecessary risk that Mr. Alderman will be fully conscious and in agonizing pain for the duration of the execution process.'

State found in contempt for OKing gassing of animals

ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Agriculture has been found in contempt of a court order for failing to enforce a 1990 law against using gas chambers to euthanize dogs and cats at animal shelters.

The state issued a favorable inspection report last May for Cobb County's animal shelter even though the facility was operating a carbon monoxide chamber at the time of the inspection, according to an order filed last week by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Tom Campbell.

Two months before the inspection, the court had ordered the state to begin enforcing the Georgia Humane Euthanasia Act, passed in 1990, which calls for lethal injection with sodium pentobarbital to be used in the vast majority of cases when dogs and cats need to be euthanized.

Senoia officer charged with 3 counts of robbery

SENOIA - A 40-year-old Senoia police officer was arrested Wednesday and charged with three counts of robbery and one count of violation of his oath, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.

Charles Patrick Morgan, employed by the department in August, was accused of taking cash from individuals who were arrested on traffic offenses, the GBI said.

Morgan was arrested without incident and is being held in the Coweta County Jail, the GBI said.