APNewsBreak: State sets January execution date

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee is set to have its first execution in nearly five years in January and the first using a new single-drug method.

State Department of Correction spokeswoman Dorinda Carter told The Associated Press on Thursday that 55-year-old Billy R. Irick is scheduled to be executed on Jan. 15.

According to the state Supreme Court clerk's office, the order for the execution was filed Tuesday.

Irick has been on death row since 1986 for the rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl.

Tennessee announced last month that it's switching from a three-drug lethal injection method to using only the sedative pentobarbital to put an inmate to death.

The last inmate executed by lethal injection in the state was Cecil Johnson, on Dec. 2, 2009.

There are 79 inmates on Tennessee's death row, including one woman.

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