Updated: Friday, April 28, 2017 12:18 am EDT
Arkansas has executed Kenneth Williams. Read more here.
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017 11:28 pm EDT
The Supreme Court of the United States has rejected all appeals for Kenneth Williams, allowing his execution to proceed.
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017 9:05 pm EDT
The execution of Kenneth Williams is delayed while the Supreme Court of the United States considers the case.
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017 7:22 pm EDT
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a request to stay the execution of Kenneth Williams.
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017 5:40 pm EDT
The Governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson has refused to grant clemency to Kenneth Williams. In his refusal, the governor noted that Kenneth was granted clemency once, being spared the death penalty and sentenced to life in prison, after his first murder. Kenneth then chose to escape custody and commit a second murder, for which he is scheduled to be executed.
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017 12:24 pm EDT
The Arkansas Supreme Court has denied a request to stay the execution of Kenneth Dewayne Williams. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has stated that there are no further requests from Kenneth pending before the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Updated: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 12:31 pm EDT
Kenneth Dewayne Williams is scheduled to be executed around 9 pm CDT, on Thursday, April 27, 2017, at the Cummins Unit near Varner, Arkansas. Thirty-eight-year-old Kenneth is convicted of the murder of 57-year-old Cecil Boren on October 3, 1999, in Varner, Arkansas. Kenneth has spent the last 17 years of his life on Arkansas’ death row.
Kenneth was exposed to drugs and alcohol from a young age. He also grew up in a violent home. Growing up, Kenneth suffered from developmental disabilities, making it difficult for him in school.
On December 13, 1998, Peter Robertson and his friend Dominique Herd, both students at the University of Arkansas, were kidnapped at gunpoint upon leaving a restaurant in Pine Bluff, where they were eating dinner. They were forced to drive around the man, later identified as Kenneth Williams, until eventually, he forced them out of the vehicle. During their drive, Williams continuously told the couple that they would be fine. After forcing them to exit the vehicle, Williams asked where they were from. Peter said “New Jersey,” while Dominique answered “Dallas.” Williams said, “I don’t like the [expletive deleted] from Dallas anyway,” before shooting at both Peter and Dominique. Peter survived his injuries and was able to call the police. Dominique died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Williams was convicted and sentenced by a jury to life in prison, without the possibility of parole on September 15, 1999.
On October 3, 1999, less than one month after beginning his sentence, Williams escaped from the Cummins Unit, where he was serving his sentence. Williams escaped by hiding in a vat of pig slop being taken away on a garbage truck. Williams made his way to the home of Cecil Boren, who was at home tending to his garden. Cecil was shot and killed by Williams, who then dragged Cecil’s body to a bayou.
Williams stole several firearms from Cecil’s home, along with his truck. Williams managed to evade the police for several days. Williams was recaptured following a high-speed chase, which resulted in Williams crashing into a water truck and killing the driver. Williams was sentenced to death for Cecil’s death in 2000.
In 2005, Williams also confessed to the murder of a third man, 36-year-old Jerrell Jenkins on December 13, 1998. Williams received another life term, without the possibility of parole.
Kenneth Williams was scheduled to be executed on January 14, 2016. His execution was stayed, along with several others, by a judge with the Pulaski County Circuit Court. The execution was stayed due to legal challenges regarding the execution drugs.
The Arkansas Parole Board has recommended that Governor Asa Hutchinson not grant clemency to Kenneth. The governor is not required to follow the recommendation of the board.
Arkansas had planned to executed eight men over a 10 day period, beginning on Monday, April 17, 2017. Prior to the executions scheduled for that day, numerous appeals were filed in multiple courts, leading to a confusing mess of legal rulings. The first two executions, scheduled for Monday, April 17, 2017, were eventually stayed by the Arkansas Supreme Court. On Thursday, April 20, 2017, Arkansas carried out its first execution, that of Ledell Lee. Ledell’s execution occurred after multiple appeals to the Supreme Court of the United States, including appeals from drug companies who did not want their drugs being used in executions. The Supreme Court eventually rejected all arguments and allowed Ledell’s execution to be carried out shortly before the execution warrant expired. The second execution scheduled for Thursday night, that of Stacey Johnson, was stayed to allow time for additional DNA testing. Two more executions were carried out on Monday, April 24, 2017.
Jason McGhee was also scheduled to be executed on Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Arkansas. Jason has been granted a stay of execution.
Please pray for peace and healing for Peter Robertson and his family. Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Dominique Hurd, Cecil Boren, and Jerrell Jenkins. Please pray for strength for the family of Kenneth. Please pray that if Kenneth is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray that Kenneth will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.