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Missouri Execution Williams
This February 2014 photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections shows death row inmate Marcellus Williams. Attorneys for Williams are asking the Missouri Supreme Court and Gov. Eric Greitens to halt his scheduled execution citing DNA evidence that they say exonerates him. Williams is scheduled to die by injection Aug. 22, 2017, for fatally stabbing former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle during a robbery at her University City home in 1998. (Missouri Department of Corrections via AP)

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens halted an inmate's planned execution



Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens halted inmate Marcellus Williams' execution Tuesday after DNA evidence raised questions about his guilt.

The Republican governor said he was issuing a stay for Williams, who was convicted of fatally stabbing former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle during a burglary at her home in 1998. Williams was scheduled for execution at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

The decision comes after Williams' attorney pointed to DNA evidence found on the murder weapon that matched another unknown person. St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch, however, argued that there was plenty of other evidence to convict Williams.

Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (MADP) as well as the state's NAACP chapter delivered copies of more than 185,000 signatures asking Greitens to save Marcellus Williams.

Greitens said he plans to appoint a five-member board to recommend whether Williams should be executed. So far, no timetable has been set.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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