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Inmate moved to hospital on day of execution

/ Source: staff and news service reports

A Georgia death row inmate scheduled to be executed Tuesday has been transferred to an outside hospital hours before he was to be put to death.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sharmelle Brooks said authorities transferred 31-year-old Brandon Joseph Rhode to the hospital Tuesday morning after "an incident ocurred with him this morning." She did not elaborate on what took place or where he was taken.

She said she was uncertain whether the incident will delay his execution.

Authorities had set Rhode's lethal injection execution for 7 p.m. EDT Tuesday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week. It was to take place at the state prison at Jackson.

The Journal-Constitution reported on Friday's decision of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to deny Rhode clemency, noting that the board or the court system can stop an execution in that state.

The courts sentenced Rhode to die in 2000 for the 1998 triple murders of trucking company owner Steven Moss, 37, his 11-year-old son Bryan and 15-year-old daughter Kristin during a burglary of their Jones County home.

The Journal-Constitution reported that Rhodes and a partner had planned to burglarize the Moss home, but an alarm initially scared them off. The pair returned later, only to be interrupted by Brian Moss, the report said.

Brian Moss accosted them with a baseball bat, but the 11-year-old was not match for the armed men, the Journal-Constitution said. 

The newspaper said Moss and accomplice Daniel Lucas killed the boy, and his sister Kristin after she came home. Next to die was the children's father, who Rhode shot upon his arrival home, it said.

Capt. Earl Humphries, the lead investigator for the Jones County Sheriff's Office, told Macon, Ga. NBC affiliate WMGT that he'll never forget the crime scene.

"Steven and Kristin were in the living room, and the house was just ransacked," he said.  "And Brian, little Brian was back in the master bedroom on the floor."

Lucas is also on death row, the Journal-Constitution said.