The day before convicted killer Kenneth Williams, 38, was scheduled to die by lethal injection in Arkansas on Thursday, an act of kindness by one victims’ family made it possible for him to see his daughter for the first time in 17 years and meet his three-year-old granddaughter for the first time.
Back in 1999, Williams was already serving a life sentence for killing Dominique Herd, an 18-year-old cheerleader, when he escaped from prison in a barrel of kitchen scraps. He then killed Cecil Boren at his nearby home and stole his car, according to court records. A high-speed chase with police ensued, and truck driver Michael Greenwood, 24, attempted to stop the criminal with his truck, which he did. Unfortunately, he was killed in the process.
Greenwood’s daughter Kayla was 5 at the time, and his wife, Stacey, was pregnant with twins Michael and Joe.
When Stacey Greenwood learned a few days before the planned execution that Williams had a daughter and a granddaughter living in Washington state whom he had never met, she decided to buy plane tickets for them so that they could have one last moment with him. Along with her three children and her current husband, Greenwood picked up Jasmine Johnson and her daughter from the airport and drove them to the prison.
In a message sent to Williams through his attorney, Kayla expressed her forgiveness to the killer. “When he found out that we are bringing his daughter and granddaughter to see him and that my mom and dad bought the tickets, he was crying to the attorney,” she said.
The Greenwood family wrote to Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson before the execution, asking for clemency for Williams. Boren’s family, on the other, wanted Williams to be executed, and his daughter argued against giving him a reprieve.
Eight executions in Arkansas were scheduled to take place in just 11 days, due to the fact that one of the lethal drugs they use would soon expire. Four of those have been blocked by courts, while three other death sentences have been carried out, including two back-to-back lethal injections on Monday. Williams’ execution was the last one scheduled.
“We are in no way asking you to ignore the pain felt by the victims of Mr Williams’ other crimes,” said Kayla in a written statement. “We know what they are going through, but ours is a pain that we have decided not to try and cure by seeking an execution. His execution will not bring my father back or return to us what has been taken, but it will cause additional suffering.”
Williams’s execution was carried out Thursday through a lethal injection, after a two-hour delay of legal motions. In his final statement, he reportedly asked for forgiveness, and took a communion instead of a last meal.
H/T: Daily Mail
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