Marcellus Williams: Missouri governor stays execution

Marcellus Williams faces execution despite new evidence

Gipson also says that previous DNA testing of hairs found on Gayle's shirt and fingernails, as well as footprints found at the scene, proves that Williams did not commit the crime.

The newly acquired evidence shows Williams' DNA wasn't detected on the murder weapon, Williams' attorneys say, but DNA from another male was found.

"We are relieved and grateful that Gov. Greitens halted Missouri's rush to execution and appointed a Board of Inquiry to hear the new DNA and other evidence supporting Mr. Williams' innocence", said Nina Morrison, senior staff attorney at the Innocence Project.

"A sentence of death is the ultimate, permanent punishment. In light of new information, I am appointing a Board of Inquiry in this case", Greitens said in the press release. They will include retired Missouri judges who, at the end of their investigation, will issue a report and recommendation as to whether or not Williams will be executed, or have his sentence commuted.

Outside Greitens' office in Jefferson City, execution protesters broke into a dance to celebrate the stay, and some wrote a thank-you note to the governor.

But prosecutors remain confident that Williams is guilty and maintain that the execution should be carried out based on other non-DNA evidence in the case, said Loree Anne Paradise, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Prosecutors dismissed the DNA evidence, saying "it would be unsurprising" that other people's DNA would be on the kitchen knife used for the murder.

"It's just remarkable to me that the attorney general and the other people defending this conviction can say with a straight face that DNA does not trump the evidence that they've submitted", Williams' lawyer told Missouri's KMOV on Tuesday. "And there is no reason to believe Williams would not have worn gloves during a burglary and murder, as he wore a jacket to hide his bloody shirt after he left the murder scene".

"It was someone else that killed Gayle, not Williams".

Henry Cole, Williams' former cellmate, also testified against him, claiming that Williams had confessed to killing Gayle.

Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, with whom the appeal was filed Monday, has not yet offered a ruling. They have also asked Governor Eric Greitens (R) for clemency, according to the Washington Post. The onetime St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter surprised the burglar and was killed at her University City home.

Is the state of Missouri about to execute an innocent man for murder?

His lawyers believe that the evidence, which wasn't available at his original trial, could exonerate him.

"He is the one who committed this murder", McCulloch said. "She'd left the newspaper in 1992 to do full-time volunteer work".

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