Casey McWhorter Execution Scheduled 11/16/23

Casey McWhorter execution
Casey McWhorter execution

Casey McWhorter is scheduled to be executed by the State of Alabama tonight for the murder of Edward Lee Williams Sr.

According to court documents Casey McWhorter and two teenage accomplices, including the son of the victim, would force their way into the home of Edward Lee Williams Sr. who would be murdered during the robbery

Casey McWhorter would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

Casey McWhorter execution is scheduled for 11/16/23 however the Governor put a thirty hour window on the execution meaning McWhorter could be executed after midnight

Casey McWhorter was executed by lethal injection on November 16 2023

Casey McWhorter Case

Casey McWhorter spoke calmly about dying.

McWhorter, 49, is set to die by lethal injection sometime Thursday night or early Friday for the 1993 slaying of Edward Lee Williams Sr. in Marshall County. Gov. Kay Ivey set a 30-hour possibility for the execution to happen, with the timeframe ending at 6 a.m. Friday.

And, he said he’s ready.

“Let me make it very clear, I’m hoping that we get the stay and whatnot. But at the same time, I’m okay with whatever happens,” he said in a lengthy phone interview with late Wednesday. While he’s talked to reporters in the past, McWhorter said this was his final interview

“I’m in a great place,” he said confidently. “I’m in a really good place. I’m more concerned with my family and friends, how they’re going to deal with things. How they’re going to feel.”

He told his family not to be sad if he dies by lethal injection Thursday night. “I know where I’m going, there’s no doubt in my mind about that. My concern is how they’re going to handle things.”

McWhorter doesn’t argue that he’s guilty of murder. But the state is guilty, too, “in the most premeditated way possible.”

“If a normal citizen did what they are trying to do now, they would be labeled a Ted Bundy. They would be labeled one of the worst of the worst. But because its state-sanctioned, it’s okay.”

The case

McWhorter said he’s sorry to the Williams family, and he regrets what happened that night in 1993.

When asked what he would say to the family, he replied: “That I’m sorry. That I hope they found some peace and I hope that they’ve found, you know, reasons to smile at the memory of the person that’s gone.”

McWhorter is set to be executed for the 1993 shooting death of Williams Sr., who was the father of one of McWhorter’s friends. McWhorter was 18 at the time of the slaying, and has been on Alabama Death Row since 1994 after a jury voted 10-2 for him to die. He was 19 when, on Friday the 13th, he was sent to William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore where Alabama Death Row is housed and he will soon face execution.

It will have been more than 30 years since the crime.

Court records state that ahead of Williams Sr.’s death, McWhorter and two other teens — one who was Williams’ son, then-15-year-old Edward Lee Williams Jr.—formed a plan to rob the elder Williams. While court records say the teens planned to rob and shoot Williams Sr. at his home, McWhorter said that isn’t true.

“It was something that wasn’t supposed to happen. Yeah, we talked kid, tough talk… (but) it was just talk. It was never supposed to go down the way it went down.”

“He came home early. He wasn’t supposed to be there. It just spiraled so fast to hell.”

On the night of the slaying, court records state McWhorter and a 16-year-old co-defendant entered Williams’ house while he wasn’t home. They were there for hours, ransacking the house and making silencers for the two rifles they found inside. When Williams finally returned home, the teens struggled with him over the guns, before shooting Williams “at least 11 times,” records show.

The teens stole the victim’s wallet and fled in the victim’s truck, dividing the money and items taken from the house and separated.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case in 2021.

While Casey McWhorter, at just 19, headed to death row, none of his co-defendants faced capital punishment.

After the 1993 shooting, McWhorter said he tried to take his own life by overdosing. “It just was playing over and over in my head, and I didn’t know how to get rid of it. And I still haven’t. I’ll never get rid of it.”

“There’s some things that you see that you can’t unsee, and the death of a person is one of those things.”

Growing up

Casey McWhorter said his childhood and resentment against his father affected him in a way where he always sought attention, even if that was bad attention. “It was a really mean cycle that I didn’t know how to communicate to people, I didn’t know how to fix in my own head. It put me in some really bad situations.”

When he was sentenced to death and hauled south down I-65 in a police car, McWhorter said all he could think was, “Oh my god, I’m going to death row.” The first night he spent there, McWhorter said he panicked about big, scary murderers breaking into his cell to kill him.

But then he listened and heard other men on death row talking and even laughing, being what he called “everyday people.”

“I thought, ‘did they carry me to the wrong place?’”

It took a bit of time to adjust and to grow up behind bars, but Casey McWhorter did. It was his grandmother who finally convinced him that he was better than the actions that put him there, and it was time to act like it.

Casey McWhorter, who proudly proclaimed he could have played college basketball, got his GED. Then, he took more than a dozen hours of college courses, remembering the work he put into his AP classes in high school. Science and math classes were his favorite, he said — skills that would have helped him if he had joined the Air Force, like he once thought he would.

After the Alabama Department of Corrections took away college classes for people who were sentenced to death and life without parole, McWhorter became a book worm, reading anything he could put his hands on. He started writing letters, becoming an avid pen pal.

Casey McWhorter’s closest friends also sit on death row. His former best friend, a man he calls a brother, was Max Landon Payne. Payne was executed in 2009, McWhorter recalled emotionally.

Now, one of his closest friends is Kenneth Smith. Smith was set to die last November, but prison workers couldn’t get his intravenous line established for the lethal drugs in the allotted time frame. Now, Smith is set to be the first person in the world to be executed using nitrogen hypoxia in January.

Smith claims he went through hours of torture while prison workers jabbed him with needles, trying to start the IV. Casey McWhorter said he worries that could be his experience.

He didn’t get to say goodbye to Smith, which made McWhorter emotional during an hour-long phone interview.

By his estimation, Casey McWhorter thinks about 75% of people on Alabama Death Row don’t deserve to be there – including him.

“I’ve said I did something wrong and I deserve time to be taken from me for that. But I don’t feel that my life should be that price,” he said.

Court records show two co-defendants took plea deals in the case. Edward Lee Williams Jr. is currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling prevents juveniles who were under 18 at the time of a crime from being sentenced to death.

For many years, it upset him that he was the only one facing death for his crime.

Growing up, Casey McWhorter said he knew what capital punishment was. But he didn’t know it could apply to “someone like me.”

“I didn’t know that your average Joe could go out and get a capital case. I thought it was for the Ted Bundys, the Timothy McVeigh.”

“I didn’t think one mistake could put you here.”

He said the Williams family didn’t push for the death penalty, and it was prosecutors who were set on capital punishment.

He’s still holding out hope for a court-ordered stay, or for Gov. Kay Ivey to issue clemency, but he’s prepared to die. He’s still deciding if he’s going to make a final statement.

“At this point in the game it’s in God’s hands and I’m okay with whatever decision he makes.”

When asked what he wanted to tell the world before he died, Casey McWhorter said: “To not judge your fellow man by the worst mistake that they’ve made. But to judge that man by the lesson he learned from that mistake, and how he’s applied it to his life.”

Casey McWhorter spoke calmly about dying. He spoke calmly and quietly about everything, except when he mentioned his mom.

“That woman is a saint,” he said. “That’s what’s so hard on me sometimes. I’m ashamed of all the tears I’ve caused her, and she’s done nothing but love me and support me and be there for me. Sadly, it just took years for me to put that in perspective.”

“I hope I leave her enough to be proud.”

Casey McWhorter Execution

An Alabama inmate convicted of killing a man during a 1993 robbery when he was a teenager was executed Thursday by lethal injection.

Casey McWhorter, 49, was pronounced dead at 6:56 p.m. at a southwest Alabama prison, authorities said. McWhorter was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for his role in the robbery and shooting death of Edward Lee Williams, 34, on Feb. 18, 1993.

Prosecutors said McWhorter, who was three months past his 18th birthday at the time of the killing, conspired with two younger teenagers, including Williams’ 15-year-old son, to steal money and other items from Williams’ home and then kill him. The jury that convicted McWhorter recommended a death sentence by a vote of 10-2, which a judge, who had the final decision, imposed, according to court records. The younger teens — Edward Lee Williams Jr. and Daniel Miner, who was 16 — were sentenced to life in prison, according to court records

“It’s kind of unfortunate that we had to wait so long for justice to be served, but it’s been served,” the victim’s brother, Bert Williams, told reporters after the execution. He added that the lethal injection provided McWhorter a peaceful death unlike the violent end his brother endured.

Prison officials opened the curtain to the execution chamber at 6:30 p.m. McWhorter, who was strapped to the gurney with the intravenous lines already attached, moved slightly at the beginning of the procedure, rubbing his fingers together, but his breathing slowed until it was no longer visible.

“I would like to say I love my mother and family,” McWhorter said in his final words. “I would like to say to the victim’s family I’m sorry. I hope you find peace.”

McWhorter also used his final words to take an apparent verbal jab at his executioner, the prison warden who faced domestic violence accusations decades ago, saying that, “it’s not lost on me that a habitual abuser of women is carrying out this procedure.”

Prosecutors said McWhorter and Miner went to the Williamses’ home with rifles and fashioned homemade silencers from a pillow and a milk jug. When the older Williams arrived home and discovered the teens, he grabbed the rifle held by Miner. They began to struggle over it, and McWhorter fired the first shot at Williams, according to a summary of the crime in court filings. Williams was shot a total of 11 times.

April Williams, the victim’s daughter, said her father today should be spending time with his grandchildren and enjoying retirement.

“There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and how I miss him,” April Williams said in a statement read by Corrections Commissioner John Q. Hamm. “Casey McWhorter had several hours in that house to change his mind from taking the life of my Dad.”

Defense attorneys had unsuccessfully sought a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court, citing McWhorter’s age at the time of the crime. They argued the death sentence was unconstitutional because Alabama law does not consider a person to be a legal adult until age 19.

McWhorter, who called himself a “confused kid” at the time of the slaying, said he would encourage young people going through difficult times to take a moment before making a life-altering mistake like he did.

“Anything that comes across them that just doesn’t sit well at first, take a few seconds to think that through,” he told The Associated Press in an interview last week. “Because one bad choice, one stupid mistake, one dumb decision can alter your life — and those that you care about — forever.” McWhorter maintained that he did not intend to kill Williams. Attorney General Steve Marshall said as Williams was on the ground wounded that McWhorter shot him in the head.

McWhorter spent nearly 30 years on Alabama’s death row, making him among the longest-serving inmates of the state’s 165 death row inmates.

“Edward Lee Williams’ life was taken away from him at the hands of Casey A. McWhorter, and tonight, Mr. McWhorter answered for his actions,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement.

The Rev. Jeff Hood, a death row minister who works with an anti-death penalty group, accompanied McWhorter into the execution chamber as his spiritual adviser. “It is not lost on me that he was a murderer and so are all Alabamians tonight. I pray that we will all learn to stop killing each other,” Hood said in a statement.

The Alabama execution occurred the same night that Texas executed a man convicted of strangling a 5-year-old girl who was taken from a Walmart store nearly 22 years ago.

McWhorter was the second inmate put to death this year in Alabama after the state paused executions for several months to review procedures following a series of failed or problematic executions. James Barber, 64, was executed by lethal injection in July for the 2001 beating death of a woman.

Alabama plans in January to make the nation’s first attempt to put an inmate to death using nitrogen gas. Nitrogen hypoxia has been authorized as an execution method in Alabama, Oklahoma and Mississippi, but no state has used it.

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