Gov. Greitens issues stay of execution for MO inmate

Updated: Aug. 22, 2017 at 3:28 PM CDT
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BONNE TERRE, MO (KFVS) - Missouri Governor Eric Greitens issued a stay of execution for an inmate who was set to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

Marcellus Williams was convicted of murder for stabbing to death former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle during a 1998 robbery at her home in the suburb of University City.

Attorneys for Williams have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking a new hearing or for his sentence to be commuted to life in prison.

Attorney Kent Gipson says DNA testing conducted in December using techniques that were not available at the time of the killing shows DNA found on the knife used in the killing matches an unknown man, but not Williams.

Greitens will appoint a five-member Gubernatorial Board of Inquiry to determine if Williams should be executed or his sentence of death commuted.

"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," said Governor Greitens.

Williams is at the state prison in Bonne Terre, Mo.

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