After governor's resignation, fate of Missouri man on death row - KMOV.com

After governor's resignation, fate of Missouri man on death row in doubt

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Marcellus Williams is on death row. He was convicted for fatally stabbing St. Louis Post Dispatch reporter Liisha Gayle in 1998. Credit: KMOV Marcellus Williams is on death row. He was convicted for fatally stabbing St. Louis Post Dispatch reporter Liisha Gayle in 1998. Credit: KMOV

ST. LOUIS (CBS News) -- The fate of a Missouri man on death row for murder is in doubt after Gov. Eric Greitens stepped down last month amid a personal scandal. Greitens delayed Marcellus Williams' execution last summer. Williams, who has long maintained his innocence, is facing a death sentence for the 1998 murder of Felicia Gayle.

When Greitens delayed Williams' execution, he assigned a special board to re-examine the case, reports CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod. But Greitens' resignation left the board in jeopardy – and Williams' future more unclear than ever.

Marcellus Williams Jr. prepared for his father's execution last August. 

"Me and my father, we said our goodbyes," Williams Jr. said. "We said we loved each other, I loved him, he loved me." 

But hours before the execution, Greitens granted Williams Sr. a temporary stay. Williams is convicted of stabbing Gayle, a former St. Louis-Post Dispatch reporter, 43 times with a butcher knife. 

"There's enough doubt in this case that his sentence should at least be commuted," Innocence Project co-founder Barry Scheck said, adding, "The skin cells on the handle of the knife that was used in this murder are not from him." 

When Greitens issued pardons before leaving office in June, Williams was not one of them.

"Why do you think he chose not to?" Axelrod asked.

"I'm really not sure," Williams Jr. said. "It's like, maybe he also never cared. So he's like, I'm leaving, I don't care. I do these five pardons and Marcellus, he can rot."

While in office, Greitens asked a special five-person board to review the case. Now that he's gone, that board has since been canceled. 

"I know the board was canceled. Will they meet? Will they make a recommendation to you and what will you do then?" Axelrod asked new Missouri Gov. Michael Parson.

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