Arkansas Inmate Spoke in Tongues Before Execution

It was state's 4th execution in 8 days
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 28, 2017 12:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – Arkansas executed its fourth inmate in eight days Thursday night, wrapping up an accelerated schedule of lethal injections that was set to beat the expiration date of one of the drugs. Kenneth Williams, 38, was pronounced dead at 11:05pm, 13 minutes after the execution began at the Cummins Unit prison. An AP reporter who witnessed the execution said Williams lurched and convulsed several times during the execution. Williams was sentenced to death for killing a former deputy warden after he escaped from prison in 1999. At the time of his escape in a 500-gallon barrel of hog slop, Williams was less than three weeks into a life term for the murder of a college cheerleader he had kidnapped.

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"I was more than wrong," Williams said in a final statement he read from the death chamber. "The crimes I perpetrated against you all was senseless, extremely hurtful, and inexcusable." Williams also spoke in tongues during his last statement. Coroner James Hawkins, who declared Williams dead, was a friend of Cecil Boren, the man murdered in the 1999 escape. "It's a satisfying moment," Hawkins tells the New York Times. "What I've heard nonstop in this community—this entire community—is: 'This is the one we're waiting on.'" (The family of another of his victims, a man killed when Williams hit his truck in a stolen vehicle, helped the inmate see his daughter a final time.)

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