UPDATE: Greitens halts scheduled execution after DNA evidence questioned

4 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 6:30:00 AM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
By: The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on Missouri's planned execution of inmate Marcellus Williams (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch says he is confident that a board of inquiry will confirm that the conviction and death penalty are appropriate for a condemned inmate whose life was spared hours before he was scheduled to die.

Marcellus Williams was set to be executed Tuesday evening for fatally stabbing Lisha Gayle during a 1998 burglary at her suburban St. Louis home. But Republican Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens granted a stay of execution after Williams' attorneys cited DNA evidence found on the murder weapon that matched another unknown person, but not Williams.

Greitens says he will appoint a five-member board of inquiry to recommend whether Williams should be executed.

McCulloch said in a statement that courts have repeatedly upheld Williams' conviction and sentence.

Kent Gipson, Williams' attorney, called the governor's decision "the appropriate thing to do."

___

3:15 p.m.

Protesters are rejoicing after Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens stopped the planned execution of an inmate who maintains his innocence.

A small group of protesters who traveled to the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City from Kansas City wrote the governor a thank-you note on the spot after learning Tuesday that Greitens is issuing a stay of execution for Marcellus Williams. Williams was convicted of fatally stabbing former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle during a 1998 burglary at her suburban St. Louis home.

Williams had been scheduled for execution at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The governor's decision comes after Williams' attorneys cited DNA evidence found on the murder weapon that matched another unknown person, but not Williams. But St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch said there's "zero possibility" he's innocent.

Greitens says he will appoint a five-member board of inquiry to make a recommendation concerning whether Williams should be executed.

___

1:55 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has halted the scheduled execution of condemned killer Marcellus Williams after DNA raised questions about his guilt.

The Republican governor said in an email Tuesday that he was issuing a stay of execution for Williams, who was convicted of fatally stabbing former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle during a burglary at her suburban St. Louis home in 1998. Williams was scheduled for execution at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The governor's decision comes after Williams' attorneys cited DNA evidence found on the murder weapon that matched another unknown person, but not Williams. But St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch said there was ample other evidence to convict Williams, and that there was "zero possibility" he was innocent.

Greitens says he will appoint a five-member board of inquiry that will include retired judges. The board will make a recommendation to the governor concerning whether Williams should be executed. No timetable has been set.

___

1:25 p.m.

Death penalty opponents and others are asking Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to stop the planned execution of an inmate who maintains his innocence.

Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and Missouri NAACP officials on Tuesday delivered copies of more than 185,000 signatures asking Greitens to save Marcellus Williams. He's scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. Tuesday. His attorneys asked Greitens for clemency.

Williams was sentenced to death in the 1998 fatal stabbing of Lisha Gayle, a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter who left journalism for social work. Authorities say she surprised Williams while he was robbing her home in the St. Louis suburb of University City.

Williams' attorneys contend that testing conducted in December using techniques that weren't available at the time of the killing showed that DNA found on the knife matches an unknown man, but not Williams.

___

1:15 p.m.

St. Louis County's prosecutor says there is "zero possibility" that an inmate who is scheduled to die is innocent of the fatal stabbing that put him on death row.

Marcellus Williams is due to be executed at 6 p.m. Tuesday for fatally stabbing former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle during a 1998 robbery at her home in University City, a St. Louis suburb.

Williams' attorneys cite DNA evidence on the murder weapon that matches another unknown man, but not Williams. But St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch says the DNA tests were simply inconclusive.

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

Williams would be the second man executed in Missouri this year.

___

10:40 a.m.

Death penalty opponents are protesting Missouri's planned execution of an inmate who maintains his innocence.

Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and other groups are organizing rallies and vigils throughout the state ahead of the scheduled 6 p.m. Tuesday execution of Marcellus Williams.

One will take place outside of the Capitol office of Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, whom Williams has asked for clemency.

Williams was sentenced to death in the 1998 fatal stabbing of Lisha Gayle, a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter who left journalism for social work. Authorities say she surprised Williams while he was robbing her home in the St. Louis suburb of University City.

Williams' attorneys contend that testing conducted in December using techniques that weren't available at the time of the killing showed that DNA found on the knife matches an unknown man, but not Williams.

___

12:05 a.m.

Missouri is preparing for its second execution of 2017, even as condemned inmate Marcellus Williams continues to declare his innocence.

Williams is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the state prison in Bonne Terre for the 1998 stabbing death of Lisha Gayle. The onetime St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter surprised the burglar and was killed at her University City home.

Attorneys for Williams contend that testing conducted in December using techniques that were not available at the time of the killing showed DNA found on the knife matches an unknown man, but not Williams. They say previous DNA testing of hairs from Gayle's shirt and fingernails also excluded Williams, and that footprints at the scene did not match Williams.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the most recent information.

More News

Grid
List
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Missouri congressman has heightened security to his office after a shooting at a congressional baseball practice... More >>
45 minutes ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 2:01:00 PM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
MOBERLY- Moberly Fire Department firefighters dropped down 8 feet underground Thursday to rescue two mock victims. “It’s a little... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 12:45:00 PM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on demonstrations following the acquittal of a former St. Louis police officer (all times... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 11:49:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
PLATTE CITY (AP) — Jurors have convicted a Kansas City, Kansas, man of first-degree murder for being an accomplice in... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:45:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on demonstrations after the acquittal of a former St. Louis police officer (all times... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:24:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS — There have been more fatal police shootings in St. Louis in 2017 than for a decade —... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 9:35:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Home Instead Senior Care in Columbia is set to host a day of education: Alzheimer's Learning Day. ... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 2:53:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Veterans living in the Patriot Place apartments will now have room to take their four-legged friends and their... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 7:22:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A man has been charged in the killing of an off-duty police officer at a restaurant... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:55:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri has received a grant from the American Cancer Society and CVS Health Foundation to... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:55:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is set to end on Sept. 30. The program... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:33:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Hasbro and Missouri UnitedHealthcare developed a wristband that can help reduce child obesity while getting kids up... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:32:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police could be wearing body cameras within 60 to 90 days. After a... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:02:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
OSAGE BEACH - A firefighter was hospitalized with heat exhaustion after responding to a condo building fire Wednesday at 9:54... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:53:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
ASHLAND - The Southern Boone School Board is taking a new approach on unpaid school lunches. Parents not paying... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:52:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - David Robinson is one of the hundreds of people who will lose help paying his utilities, if a... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:50:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
FULTON - Buying food locally can save gas and money and get the food to the table faster. A family... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:26:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Missouri couple who received an engagement ring on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" after dropping theirs into... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:16:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 89°
3pm 90°
4pm 92°
5pm 92°
6pm 90°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
2:00p
Maury
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
The Goldbergs

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
8:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld