Friday, September 11, 2015

TOP STORY >> Doomed inmate will die Dec. 14

Leader staff writer

Marcel Wayne Williams, convicted in the 1994 killing of a woman in Jacksonville, is one of eight inmates Gov. Asa Hutchinson scheduled execution dates for this week.

He will be put to death Dec. 14, along with Jack Harold Jones Jr.

Jones was convicted in the capital murder of a Bald Knob woman in 1995.

Williams was found guilty in the capital murder, kidnapping, rape and aggravated robbery of Stacey Errickson.

Jacksonville Police Chief Kenny Boyd worked the case. “I am pleased to know the sentencing is being carried out,” he told The Leader.

The chief added that Williams has until Sept. 25 to petition for a reprieve.

Boyd said Williams committed “some very heinous, ugly crimes” and “did some ugly things to people” in Jacksonville and North Little Rock.

Boyd added that Williams had attempted other abductions, kidnapped and raped another woman and been sent to prison as a teenager. He thought, but wasn’t sure, he was jailed then on an aggravated robbery charge.

Williams was tried in Pulaski County Circuit Court, and appealed the convictions to the Arkansas Supreme Court.

But the highest court affirmed the jury’s death sentence in 1999.

According to that ruling, evidence showed Errickson died from strangulation. Her neck and face were deeply bruised, and her hands were tied behind her back. Boyd remembered that she was young. He thought Errickson was in her 20s and said she was married to an airman.

The chief said the case was a lengthily one because, at first, police didn’t have a suspect in her disappearance.

Williams was also in his 20s, Boyd recalled.

According to Supreme Court documents, the victim’s nightmare began when she stopped at the Jacksonville Shellstop for gas around 6:45 a.m. on Nov. 20, 1994.

Williams approached Errickson’s vehicle, pulled a gun and had her move from the driver’s seat to the passenger’s side.

He drove the vehicle away from the gas station, taking the victim to several ATMs, where she withdrew $360 in 18 transactions that were recorded on security cameras. The last transaction was made at 7:37 p.m.

Errickson didn’t come into work that day or pick her child up from the babysitter.

Williams was arrested for a warrant a few days later, on Nov. 29.

He was questioned because physical evidence linked him to two other assaults involving women.

After a 13-hour interrogation during which Williams took police to a house in Little Rock where he told officers he though Errickson might be, Williams admitted to abducting and robbing her.

He also said she was alive to the best of his knowledge.

Williams denied raping the victim and confided that accomplices had physically harmed her. Evidence showed Errickson was assaulted at a storage facility.

Her body was found in a shallow grave on Dec. 5.

Boyd said the victim was found in North Little Rock.

According to court documents, two witnesses testified that they saw Williams at the gas station before Errickson was kidnapped. They said he followed them in a car and attempted to stop them, until they drove onto the air base.

Williams’ trial was held on Jan. 6, 1997. The jury learned then that he had four prior felony convictions.

The aggravating circumstances prosecutors presented and the Supreme Court upheld were that Williams had committed another felony, an element of which was use or threat of violence to another person; the murder was committed to avoid or prevent his arrest; the murder was committed for monetary gain; and the murder was committed in an especially cruel or depraved manner.

The governor also scheduled execution dates for six others.

On Oct. 21, Bruce Earl Ward — convicted of killing a Little Rock woman in 1989 — and Don William Davis — convicted of killing a Rogers woman in 1990 — will be executed.

On Nov. 3, Terrick Terrell Nooner — convicted of killing a Little Rock man in 1993 — and Stacey Eugene Johnson — convicted of killing a DeQueen woman in 1993 — will die.

Boyd added that Nooner was present when Robert Rocket killed a young man at the now-closed gas station on Graham Road. Rocket was sentence to life in prison for that murder.

Jason McGehee — convicted of killing a Harrison man in 1996 — and Kenneth Williams — convicted of killing a Grady man in 1999 — will be executed on Jan. 14.

Boyd hopes that the governor will soon set an execution date for Ledell Lee, who raped and murdered several Jacksonville victims, including a former alderman’s daughter.