Gov. Nixon commutes death sentence for Kimber Edwards

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Kimber Edwards

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KTVI) – Gov. Jay Nixon commuted the death sentence for a former St. Louis jailer convicted of hiring someone to kill his ex-wife.

Kimber Edwards was convicted of hiring Orthell Wilson to kill his ex-wife, Kimberly Cantrell, in August 2000 at her University City apartment so he would not have to pay child support.

Edwards said he was framed. Meanwhile, Wilson pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was given a life sentence.

Edwards was originally sentenced to die by lethal injection on May 12, but the state supreme court vacated that order to allow defense attorneys time to prepare a clemency request. That execution date was rescheduled to October 6.

Below is Gov. Nixon’s commutation statement:

“After a thorough review of the facts surrounding the murder of Kimberly Cantrell, I am convinced the evidence supports the jury’s decision to convict Kimber Edwards of first-degree murder. At the same time, however, I am using my authority under the Missouri Constitution to commute Edwards’ sentence to life without the possibility of parole. This is a step not taken lightly, and only after significant consideration of the totality of the circumstances. With this decision, Kimber Edwards will remain in prison for the remainder of his life for this murder.”