Williams, 38, had been living on death row for years when he was finally given an execution date. But instead of uttering peaceful final words, Williams said something that surprised everyone in the room and threw everything into chaos. His victims’ family members were present at the time of his execution and while they did not get the closure they wanted, Williams’s death helped them somewhat.
In 1998, Williams was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Dominique Hurd. However, he escaped from prison in Arkansas in 1999. He did not enjoy lengthy freedom. He had been guilty of murdering Cecil Boren the previous year, and he received the death sentence this time around.
Williams was set to be executed by the state of Arkansas, along with three other inmates, in a span of eight days. This decision came about because the state’s supply of lethal injection medicine would expire soon and they wanted to “get on with” several executions before that date passed. As such, Williams was the fourth death row inmate from Arkansas to be put to death by lethal injection before prisons ran out of the necessary medication.
While Williams was being executed in the death chamber, Boren’s daughter Jodie Efird watched from a nearby room. She said that while it did help her move on somewhat, it didn’t provide the closure she’d been hoping for.
“Every time we drive down this road, he’s not here anymore,” Efird said about Williams.
Nonetheless, Williams’ final words shocked many people in the execution chamber. After years of spending time on death row, he appeared to be ready to atone for his offenses against women.
“I was more than wrong” said Williams in his final words. “The crime I perpetrated against you all was senseless.”
At least he did not die in denial of his crimes. He confessed to his senseless murders and tried to apologize to the family members of his victims who survived. Facing reality can be difficult, but it is important, especially when someone meets their end.
On April 27 at 11:05 PM, Arkansas executioners fatally injected Williams with lethal drugs. The inmate experienced severe convulsions as he died; his attorney afterwards demanded an inquiry into the event, describing it as ‘horrifying’ to watch.
“This is the most I’ve seen an inmate move three or four minutes in,” said Associated Press reporter Kelly Kissel.
Kissel said that after receiving the sedative, Williams “lurched” about fifteen times in three minutes. He then proceeded to make around five more moderate lurches before he eventually became motionless.
“This is very disturbing, but not at all surprising, given the history of the risky sedative midazolam, which has been used in many botched executions,” stated Williams’ attorney, Shawn Nolan. “What’s important right now is that all the information about tonight’s execution must be meticulously documented and preserved so that we can discover exactly what happened in that execution chamber.”