Oklahoma to execute man for 2002 killing of infant daughter
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma will execute a man who murdered his 2 1/2-year‑old daughter so he could steal her car, and her mother testified Wednesday that her daughter’s death was like an “act of God.”
In a final effort to spare his life, the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the state to release the prisoner so he can be executed by lethal injection, although at least two questions remain.
Lawyers for James Lee Williams said in a court filing that witnesses and evidence don’t support the Supreme Court’s ruling that the mother of the girl’s killer is not mentally retarded or ineligible for the death penalty.
The attorneys also claimed that testimony from Williams’s family and his mother was fabricated.
The state has a 10-hour window to ask for a stay of the execution. An execution would be scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday.
The Supreme Court has been the final stop on death row inmates who have been awaiting lethal injection since 2001.
Williams was convicted of shooting his daughter, Amanda, in the neck and killing her in the bathtub in February 2002. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Williams’ defense attorney, James McPherson, said Williams was a loving, thoughtful father who “would never ever commit such a crime.” He added that the court’s ruling “will only serve to embolden (others) to take children’s lives. It won’t deter them.”
Amanda’s mother, Susan Williams, testified that her daughter’s death is like an “act of God.”
“I think it is an act of God,” Williams said. “I was not looking for this to happen, but I was a little girl,” he said. “I didn’t have a father. I had a mother that loved me.”
The state, meanwhile, asked Attorney General Scott Pruitt to grant a stay of execution. After a hearing, the lawyer said his client was not “entitled to a stay