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2017

Kenneth Williams, Arkansas

Kenneth Williams, Arkansas

April 28, 2017  

Kenneth WilliamsKenneth Dewayne Williams was executed by the state of Arkansas on Thursday, April 27, 2017. Kenneth was pronounced dead at 11:05 pm local time, inside the Cummins Unit execution chamber near Varner, Arkansas. He was 38 years of age and executed for the murder of 57-year-old Cecil Boren on October 3, 1999, in Varner, Arkansas. Kenneth spent the last 17 years of his life on Arkansas’ death row.

Kenneth was exposed to drugs and alcohol from a young age and grew up in a violent home.  He also suffered from developmental disabilities, making school difficult for him. 

On December 13, 1998, Peter Robertson and his friend Dominique Herd, both students at the University of Arkansas, were kidnapped at gunpoint from a restaurant in Pine Bluff after eating dinner. They were forced to drive around their kidnapper, later identified as Kenneth Williams, until he eventually ordered 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 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. Police recaptured Williams 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 murder 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 sentence, without the possibility of parole.

Jason McGhee also had an execution date for Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Arkansas. Jason was 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. Pray for strength for the family of Kenneth. 

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