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CHEROKEE COUNTY JURY SENDS MAN TO DEATH ROW FOR SHOOTING DEATH OF LOCAL WOMAN

GAFFNEY - A Spartanburg County man has been sentenced to death for killing a local woman inside her home.

A Cherokee County jury issued the decision against Jonathan Kyle Binney 28, about 9:30 p.m. tonight. Circuit Judge Derham Cole set the execution date for Jan. 14, 2003. The actual date of the execution will be determined once Binney exhausts his appeals.

The jury convicted Binney of murder and first-degree burglary Monday night in connection to the June 7, 2000 shooting death of Judy Southern, 39. Binney broke into Southern's home and waited six hours for the rural mail carrier to come home. During the wait, Binney drank beer and he played video games. Binney shot Southern shot her in the abdomen with pistol moments after she entered the rural Cherokee County home.

Binney left a written confession and a map in the front yard of the Southern residence.

Authorities arrested Binney the morning of June 8, 2000. He was found hiding in the basement of his wife's Pacolet-area home.

Seventh Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy teamed with Deputy Solicitor Donnie Willingham to prosecute the case.
At the time of the killing, Binney was awaiting trial on a sexual assault of a three-month-old relative. A Spartanburg County jury found him guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor on April 27, 2001. Binney received a 30-year prison sentence for the conviction.

"These are not pleasant or happy trials, but justice was done for Judy Southern," Gowdy said.

For more information, contact Murray Glenn at (864) 809-4892.