Gov. Greitens Issues Stay of Execution for Marcellus Williams

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens issues a stay of execution for a man scheduled to die at six o’clock Tuesday night for the murder of a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter during a burglary at her University City home.

A statement from the governor says a five-member Board of Inquiry will review the evidence against Marcellus Williams in the 1998 stabbing death of Lisha Gayle.

“A sentence of death is the ultimate, permanent punishment. To carry out the death penalty, the people of Missouri must have confidence in the judgment of guilt. In light of new information, I am appointing a Board of Inquiry in this case,” Greitens said in the statement.

Williams’ defense team claims DNA found on the murder weapon – a knife – shows another man’s DNA, but not Williams.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch says that’s not true: “The people who analyze the DNA profile, who did the testing, say, ‘We can’t exclude Marcellus Williams as the donor of this.’ They’re claiming that he’s excluded, but that’s wrong.”

McCulloch says even without DNA evidence, the testimony of a cellmate and Williams’ girlfriend proved Williams was the killer.

No timetable on how long the Board of Inquiry might take.

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