Rutledge Statement Following the Execution of Inmate Kenneth Williams
April 27, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement following the execution by lethal injection of inmate Kenneth Williams.
“Tonight the rule of law was upheld as the family of Cecil Boren saw justice done. On October 3, 1999, Cecil was simply going about his daily life at his home near the Cummins Prison Unit when he was shot and killed by an escapee who was serving life imprisonment without parole for capital murder. I pray this lawful execution will bring closure and peace to the Boren family.”
Facts of the case and procedural history:
On October 3, 1999, three weeks after being convicted of capital murder and receiving a sentence of life imprisonment without parole, Kenneth Williams escaped from the Cummins Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction. He escaped by hiding in a slop tank.
He shot and killed 57-year-old Cecil Boren a few miles outside the prison while stealing his truck, guns and numerous other items. Williams eventually was apprehended in Missouri after crashing the truck following a high-speed chase in which another motorist was killed.
A Lincoln County jury convicted Williams of the capital murder of Cecil Boren and sentenced him to death on August 30, 2000. The Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed his conviction on direct appeal in 2002. Thereafter, Williams filed a petition for post-conviction relief that was denied by the circuit court, and the denial was affirmed by the Arkansas Supreme Court on appeal. Williams also sought relief in a petition for writ of habeas corpus filed in federal court and it was denied. Williams unsuccessfully appealed the denial first to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the U.S. Supreme Court.