Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Impending Execution of Jason Williams

Jason Oric Williams sits on Alabama's death row awaiting his execution two days hence. There is no doubt that he is factually guilty of the crimes for which he is to die. I present the following summary from the decision in Jason Oric Williams v. State of Alabama. I have removed the legal references and introduced paragraph breaks to improve the readability.
The state's evidence shows that the defendant [Jason Oric Williams] had been living in the home of Gerald and Clair Paravicini in Irvington, for approximately two weeks before February 15, 1992, the date the crimes were committed. Before that, he had lived with his former wife, Sandra Ellzey, but she had forced him to move.

The Paravicinis, whom the appellant had known for several years, had allowed the appellant to move into their home because he had no place to live. Jeffery Carr, the minor son of Mrs. Paravicini, also lived in the home.

The appellant spent the evening of February 14 and the early morning hours of February 15, 1992, drinking alcohol and taking drugs. Around 6:00 a.m. on February 15, he arrived at the Paravicini home and was admitted by Jeffery Carr after knocking on a window. He called Ellzey on a portable telephone and while they were arguing, obtained Mr. Paravicini's.22 caliber automatic rifle and some hollow-point bullets from a bedroom. He then shot Jeffery Carr in the face and, as Mr. Paravicini came to Jeffery's aid, he shot Mr. Paravicini in the chest and neck.

Jeffery ran out of the house to seek help, and Mr. Paravicini ran into the street, where he died. The appellant demanded the keys to the Paravicinis' automobile from Mrs. Paravicini and when she did not produce them, he struck her in the face with the rifle, breaking her jaw and two teeth, and he threatened to kill her. He took her purse, which contained her checkbook, credit cards, and $530 cash, and ran to the road where he attempted to commandeer a passing truck driven by Buford Billedeaua. Billedeaua stopped his truck, but then took the keys and fled into the nearby woods as the appellant fired two shots at him.

The appellant then went to the nearby home of Linda and Fred Barber. The Barbers had two sons, Bryan and Brad, who lived with them and who were present in the home at the time. When Mrs. Barber opened the door, the appellant shot her, without warning, in the face and head, killing her instantly. He then shot Mr. Barber, who was sitting in the kitchen drinking coffee, twice in the head, killing him instantly. He then shot Bryan, who was asleep in his bed, twice in the head, killing him. Brad locked himself in a bedroom, but the appellant kicked the door in and while he and Brad were struggling over the rifle, Brad was shot in the left hand. Brad broke free and fled while the appellant continued to fire at him.

The appellant took the Barbers' vehicle, a Ford Aerostar van, along with Mr. Barber's wallet, which contained approximately $50, and Mrs. Barber's purse. He was apprehended the following day in Mississippi after he telephoned Ellzey. When he was apprehended, he was in possession of the Barbers' vehicle, in which were found .22 caliber bullets. After being properly advised of his rights pursuant to Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966), he was questioned about Mr. Paravicini's rifle, and he stated that he threw the rifle off a bridge into the water as he entered Mississippi. The rifle was never recovered.

The appellant presented the defense of insanity, he alleged, caused by severe drug abuse coupled with a preexisting mental disorder. ... The appellant testified in his defense that he did not remember anything about the incident from the time he telephoned Ellzey from the Paravicini home until he realized that he was in Mississippi in a strange vehicle with a rifle and with blood on his body. However, on cross-examination, he claimed that he was hallucinating at the time of the shootings: he thought he was being attacked by a "large apparition." In addition to presenting four witnesses who testified that the appellant had been drinking alcohol and taking drugs on the night before the shootings, he testified that he had been drinking alcohol and taking drugs during the hours preceding the shootings.
Given the certainty of William's factual guilt, I stand mute with respect to his execution.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Ben, maybe you'll get to like the Air Force... zooming all over the sky and shouting ROGER and WILCO and everything. Maybe it won't be so bad.

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