Friday, October 09, 2015

TOP STORY >> Executions on hold for killers here

Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen of Little Rock has halted the execution of eight men on death row, including Ledell Lee of Jacksonville, a serial killer who, in the 1990s, raped and murdered several victims, including an alderman’s daughter.

Marcel Wayne Williams, convicted in the 1994 killing of a woman in Jacksonville, is another inmate who was scheduled to be executed.

Griffen halted the executions because he said the state had not provided information about the drugs used in the executions.

Williams, 45, was found guilty in the capital murder, kidnapping, rape and aggravated robbery of Stacey Errickson after she stopped at the Jacksonville Shellstop for gas around 6:45 a.m. 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.

Williams was tried in January 1997 in Pulaski County Circuit Court, and appealed the convictions to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which 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.

Lee, 50, was sentenced to die for the Feb. 9, 1993, beating and strangling death of Debra Reese, 26, in the Sunnyside addition, where he had attacked several other women.

He was also convicted of raping two Jacksonville women and was tried for the murder of Christine Lewis, the daughter of the late Alderman Robert Lewis.

Lee was also suspected of killing a Jacksonville prostitute and dumping her body in a shed near the railroad tracks.

Lewis, 22, was abducted from her Sunnyside home in November 1989 as her 3-year-old child watched. She was raped and strangled, and her body dumped in the closet of an abandoned home.

The jury could not agree on a verdict in that trial, but prosecutors decided not to retry him when he received the death sentence in the Reese case and was convicted for raping two women.

DNA evidence tied Lee to the murders and rapes.