Missouri Inmate Narrowly Avoids Execution As State Re-Examines Evidence In Rare Move

Missouri death row inmate Marcellus Williams was this close to glory yesterday until his execution date was set aside and a rarely impaneled State committee was tasked with reviewing evidence in his case.

Williams, 48, was tried and convicted of the 2001 stabbing death of Felicia Gayle, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter, who was stabbed more than three dozen times during a home burglary, according to prosecutors.


Items stolen from Gayle’s home and later pawned were linked to Williams, who maintained his innocence. According to his attorneys, however, his shoe prints did not match those found at the murder scene.

Also, a recent DNA test could not conclusively link Williams to the murder weapon, a kitchen knife.

Williams’ case received a ton of publicity, with many saying the state of Missouri was set to execute an innocent man. The attention prompted Missouri’s Republican governor to convene the rarely-used panel, called the Board of Inquiry.

No one has been appointed to the panel yet, and when they are appointed, there is no set timetable for them to come to a conclusion so the matter could take years.

Which means Marcellus is probably sleeping a little bit more comfortably right now.

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