Last meal of death row prisoner who beat his ex to death and blasted boyfriend

A death row prisoner who beat his ex-wife to death before blasting her boyfriend with a shotgun has requested a burger and fries for his last meal.

Donnie Cleveland Lance, 66, has been locked up since 1999 when he was found guilty of the murders of Sabrina "Joy" Lance and Dwight "Butch" Wood Jr in November 1997.

Lance, who subjected his wife to a brutal campaign of violence during and after their marriage – including kidnap, strangulation and electrocution – will meet with Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles on Tuesday in a bid to get his sentence reduced to life in prison.

However, if parole officials reject the appeal then Lance will be executed by lethal injection at Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison (GDCP) in Jackson, about 50 miles south of Atlanta.

The 66-year-old has ordered an artery-clogging last meal of two chili steak burgers, French fries, onion rings, mustard, ketchup, and a soda.

The bodies of Lance's victims were found at Butch's home in Jackson on November 9, 1997 – with the murders estimated to have taken place between midnight and 5am, a court summary details.

Butch had been shot at least twice with a shotgun and Joy had been beaten to death by repeated blows to her face, while the front door had imprints matching Lance's size 7-and-a-half work boots.

A police officer saw Lance's car leave the scene near midnight and Joy's dad testified he told the convicted man she was not home when he called hoping to speak to her at 11.55pm.

Associate Joe Moore assisted Lance in disposing of shotgun shells and the killer told him the pair were dead, adding Butch's "daddy could buy him out of a bunch of places, but he can't buy him out of Hell".

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Lance had a long history of abuse against his ex-wife, both during and after they were married, including kidnapping, beatings with his fist, a belt, and a handgun, strangulation, and electrocution or the threat of electrocution.

He had also threatened to burn her with flammable liquid and kill her with a handgun and a chainsaw, as well firing a handgun at or near her, and other forms of physical abuse.

Several witnesses also testified that Lance had repeatedly threatened to kill Joy if she tried to divorce him or became involved with Butch, and had threatened to kill Butch's wife and other people related to his ex.

Moore also claimed he and Lance had entered Butch's home in 1993 due to suspicions Joy was having an affair, and the inmate was carrying a sawed-off shotgun.

There have been 74 men and one woman executed in Georgia since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

If executed, Lance will be the 53 offender put to death by lethal injection. There are presently 42 men and one woman under death sentence in Georgia.

On January 17, the Superior Court of Jackson County filed an order setting the seven-day window in which the execution of Lance may occur.

  • Crime

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