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Missouri governor stays execution of convicted killer after new DNA evidence

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 01:10

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has issued a stay of execution for convicted killer Marcellus Williams, who was scheduled to die by lethal injection on Tuesday, after his attorneys argued that recent DNA evidence shows he is innocent in the killing of a former newspaper reporter. Linda So reports.

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****NOTE TO EDITORS: THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED AND REPLACES THE PREVIOUS VERSION**** Hours before convicted killer Marcellus Williams was scheduled to die by lethal injection, Missouri's governor has halted his execution. The decision comes after his attorneys argued recent DNA evidence shows he is innocent. Williams was convicted in the 1998 death of Felicia Gayle, a former reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper. She was found stabbed 43 times inside her home. Williams' lawyer has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the execution scheduled for Tuesday night based on new evidence that was not available at the time of the killing. That evidence, his lawyer argues, shows Williams' DNA was not found on the murder weapon. SOUNDBITE: KENT GIPSON, WILLIAMS' ATTORNEY, SAYING: "Any fair-minded person could look at this and say, 'I don't think this guy is guilty.'" The Missouri Attorney General's Office rejects the lawyer's claims saying Williams' guilt was proven without DNA evidence and the execution should go on as planned. Williams has maintained his innocence. Nearly 170-thousand people have signed an online petition urging the governor to issue Williams clemency.

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Missouri governor stays execution of convicted killer after new DNA evidence

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 01:10