Family of man killed by Kenneth Williams buy plane tickets for his daughter

Sunita Patel-Carstairs, News Reporter

The family of a man killed by a death row inmate have said they have forgiven him - and even arranged for the killer's daughter to visit him before his planned execution.

Kenneth Williams faces execution later in Arkansas - the fourth inmate to be put to death in the state in a week.

In 1999, Williams was on the run from prison when he crashed a stolen vehicle into a truck driven by Michael Greenwood, killing him instantly.

Now, Mr Greenwood's daughter Kayla, who was five when her father was killed, says she has forgiven Williams.

"I don't believe killing someone after someone's death has already happened is God's way," she told the Springfield News-Leader.

"I told him we forgive him and where I stood on it," she said, via a message to Williams through his lawyer.

A few days ago she found out Williams has a 21-year-old daughter, Jasmine, who he has not seen for 17 years, and a three-year-old granddaughter he has never met.

She said her mother Stacey, who was pregnant with twins at time of the accident, bought plane tickets for the pair who flew from Washington state to Arkansas on Wednesday to see Williams.

She, her mother, brothers Michael and Joe, and stepfather picked them up and drove them to the prison.

"We wanted that time for him and his daughter and granddaughter," Ms Greenwood said.

"When he found out that we are bringing his daughter and granddaughter to see him and that my mom and dad bought the tickets, he was crying to the attorney," she said.

"He was sad he couldn't talk to us."

Williams was serving a life term for killing a university cheerleader - whose family he taunted when jurors spared his life - when he escaped by hiding in a barrel of pig slop which was being taken from a prison kitchen to a farm.

He is on death row for killing another man, Cecil Boren, a former deputy prison warden, whose truck he stole while on the run.

He later confessed to a third murder.

Mr Greenwood's family had urged for his killer's life to be spared.

But Mr Boren's relatives told Arkansas Parole Board Williams' execution should go ahead.

Williams will be executed by lethal injection at the Cummins Unit prison.

Arkansas had originally planned to stage eight executions within an 11-day period, because its stock of the sedative midazolam is due to pass its use-by date at the end of April.

Four executions were cancelled because of court rulings.

On Tuesday rapists and murderers Jack Jones and Marcel Williams were given lethal injections - the first double execution in the US since 2000.

Ledell Lee, convicted of killing his neighbour in 1993, was put to death on 21 April.

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