An execution date has been set by the Missouri Supreme Court for a 45-year-old St. Louis man, Marcellus Williams, at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday January 28, 2015, according to Fox2now.
Williams was convicted of murdering a news reporter, Lisha Gayle, on August 11, 1998 while robbing her home in University City, Missouri.
No physical evidence has connected Williams to the murder. He was found guilty from the testimony of a drug-addicted ex-girlfriend, Laura Asaro, and a fellow jail house inmate, Henry Cole, who reported their stories a year after the murder was committed.
Cole, who has a history of mental illness, claimed that while he and Williams were incarcerated, he confessed to the murder of Lisha Gayle. He also claimed that he informed him of information that was never publicized, according to Kansas City Star.
Once Cole was released from jail in June 1999, he went to the police a year later to report the Lisha Gayle’s murder.
According to both testimonies, Williams had taken his grandfather’s vehicle – a Buick LeSabre – and drove it to a bus stop. He then got on the bus and got off near Gayle’s residence in University City.
Police officials believe his initial plan was to go in search of a house to break into, which is why he took a bus in lieu of driving his grandfather’s vehicle.
After searching for a house, he finally stumbled upon the Gayle’s residence. He first knocked on the door to see if the house was vacant. Believing so after no one came to answer the door; he went around the back and broke into the house.
No one was on the first floor, but as he made his way to the second floor, he heard the shower running. Williams immediately ran downstairs to the kitchen in search of a knife.
Gayle heard the noise and quickly leaped out of the shower. Once she reached downstairs, Williams attacked her with the knife, stabbing Gayle 43 times – seven of the stabs were fatal.
Afterwards, he washed his hands in one of the upstairs bathrooms. Before leaving the residence, he took Gayle’s purse, a jacket, and her husband’s laptop computer.
After Cole’s testimony, Williams was arrested from jail in November 1999. Police searched his grandfather’s Buick and found Gayle’s post-dispatch ruler and a calculator. They also uncovered the laptop, which was sold to a man named Glenn Roberts. A DNA test was never executed, but he was still convicted of murdering Lisha Gayle and stabbing her 43 times based on Cole’s and Asaro’s testimony.
On December 27, 2014, an execution date was set.
Racing against time, Williams’ defense attorney, Kent Gipson, is adamant about a DNA analysis and database search on physical evidence before execution. He believes it may exonerate his client.
If tests are not executed or a database search for physical evidence isn’t conducted, the execution will still be in effective, leaving Williams will less than two weeks to live.
The execution will be the first of 2015.
The state of Missouri had an aggregate of 10 executions in the year of 2014.
[Image via Fox2now]