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Lawyers cite DNA evidence in effort to spare Missouri inmate

Marcellus Williams

ST. LOUIS –  Attorneys for a Missouri death row inmate are asking the state Supreme Court and Gov. Eric Greitens to halt the prisoner’s execution scheduled for next week, citing DNA evidence that they say exonerates him.

Marcellus Williams is scheduled to die by injection Aug. 22 for fatally stabbing former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle during a 1998 burglary at her home in University City.

Attorneys for Williams said Tuesday that testing conducted in December shows DNA found on the knife does not match Williams.

Loree Anne Paradise, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Josh Hawley, says the office remains confident that Williams is guilty based on other evidence in the case. Greitens’ spokesman, Parker Briden, declined comment, saying only that the claim will need further review.