Missouri Prepares to Execute Marcellus Williams, Dismissing DNA Evidence

by Antonio Miles August 23, 2017, 0:38
Missouri Prepares to Execute Marcellus Williams, Dismissing DNA Evidence

More than 200,000 people had signed an online petition asking Greitens to intervene, and a rally protesting the execution was planned in St. Louis later on Tuesday, featuring speakers such as the head of the Missouri NAACP.

Williams was convicted of stabbing Lisha Gayle, 42, to death during a robbery that occurred on August 11, 1998, in a gated suburban community outside of University City, Missouri. When Gayle came downstairs, she was stabbed 43 times.

If Williams' death sentence is carried out, it would be Missouri's second execution this year.

Besides the murder conviction, Williams is also now serving consecutive terms in prison for robbery and 30 years each for weapon crimes and burglary.

The Springfield Chapter of the Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty will sponsor a peaceful protest and remembrance of victims of violent crime today at 12 noon on Park Central Square. Greitens has also called for a Gubernatorial Board of Inquiry to be formed to investigate Williams' request for clemency. "In light of new information, I am appointing a Board of Inquiry in this case". "What separates Mr. Williams from many others is that he may be a case of actual innocence", Missourinet reported. They are now appealing to the US Supreme Court to make a last-minute, desperate bid to halt the execution.

Gipson also had appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court over concerns raised by DNA testing of the knife conducted in December using techniques that were not available at the time of the killing.

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Hair samples and fingernails found at the crime scene don't match Williams' DNA either, said Greg Hampikian, a forensic DNA expert hired by defense lawyers, and footprints at the scene didn't match his shoes, defense attorney Larry Komp said.

McCulloch says there is ample other evidence that Williams committed the crime.

During trial, both Williams' girlfriend and one of Williams' former fellow inmates claimed that he had confessed to Gayle's murder. The onetime St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter surprised the burglar and was killed at her University City home.

His lawyers say the two witnesses - a former cell mate and prostitute - were motivated by a financial reward to testify against him.

But, Loree Anne Paradise, a spokeswoman for Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, said the office is still confident that Williams is the killer based on other evidence. She left the paper to do volunteer social work with children and the poor. When it comes to the DNA evidence, he told St. Louis Public Radio in an interview Monday, what was "extracted, or located on the knife was not of sufficient quantity or quality to identify or exclude anyone".

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