St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell Filed a Motion to Overturn Marcellus Williams’ Conviction. Here’s How You Can Help the Fight for Justice.

Here are three ways to get involved to stop Mr. Williams’ execution in Missouri.

Urgent 01.29.24 By Alyxaundria Sanford

Marcellus Williams. (Image: Courtesy of Marcellus Williams’ legal team)

Marcellus Williams. (Image: Courtesy of Marcellus Williams’ legal team)

Updated on June 4, 2024:

The Missouri Supreme Court scheduled Marcellus Williams to be executed on Sept. 24, 2024 at 6 p.m. for a 1998 murder — despite DNA evidence supporting his innocence.

After the news broke, attorneys for Mr. Williams released a statement: 

“The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney has asserted that he has clear and convincing evidence that Marcellus Williams is innocent. It is alarming that an execution date has been set in spite of this. To date, no court has ever reviewed the DNA evidence proving Mr. Williams was not the individual who wielded the murder weapon and committed this crime. Yet, the State successfully sought an execution date, highlighting the system’s emphasis on finality over innocence. That is not justice. We will continue to fight for Mr. Williams’ exoneration and seek a hearing on the prosecutor’s motion to vacate.”

Today, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell filed a motion to overturn Marcellus Williams’ wrongful conviction. Mr. Williams has spent 24 years on death row for a murder that DNA evidence proves he didn’t commit. The motion provides the opportunity for the evidence that proves Mr. Williams’ innocence to finally be heard in court. 

It is now on the Missouri Supreme Court and Gov. Mike Parson to take action to overturn Mr. Williams’ conviction and stop his execution. Here are three ways for you to get involved to demand justice:

1. Sign the petition to stop Mr. Williams’ execution. 

Mr. Williams was convicted of first-degree murder, robbery, and burglary in the 1998 killing of Felicia Gayle, a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter who was stabbed 16 times in her own home. His conviction primarily relied upon the inconsistent testimonies of two incentivized witnesses, with no physical evidence linking him to the crime scene. 

In 2016, post-conviction DNA testing of the murder weapon proved that Mr. Williams did not commit the crime, contradicting the testimony of the unreliable informants. This crucial DNA evidence has not been presented in court. 

Join more than 28,000 people in signing this petition to stop Mr. Williams’ execution. 


Despite DNA evidence pointing to his innocence, Marcellus Williams faces execution in Missouri for a crime that DNA proves he did not commit. Add your name to our petition at the link in our bio and share Marcellus’ story far and wide to stop this injustice before it’s too late. #innocence #deathrow #missouri #criminaljustice

♬ Emotional Cinematic Sad Violin and Piano – ISAo

2. Read and share Mr. Williams’ story.

The national attention surrounding Mr. Williams’ story has underscored the State’s blatant disregard of the exculpatory evidence that could clear his name. The more people who hear this story of injustice, the more the chances that Gov. Parson or the Missouri Supreme Court will intervene. 

Share these social media posts on your own platforms and with family or friends to spread the word about this miscarriage of justice:

3. Use your voice. 

You’ve done it before for our clients Pervis Payne, Rodney Reed, Julius Jones and Melissa Lucio, the last of whom was just two days away from execution when the court granted a stay. In all, more than 1 million advocates online and on the ground used their voices to call for change.

So here’s what to do: Create an Instagram post, reel, or TikTok to share the background of Mr. Williams’ case, the reasons he’s innocent, and all the missteps in this miscarriage of justice, and urge your followers to sign our petition. Use these five facts to share your story.


Mr. Wiliams is represented by the Innocence Project, Midwest Innocence Project, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, the Federal Public Defender Capital Habeas Unit in Kansas City, and attorney Kent Gipson. 

Leave a Reply

Thank you for visiting us. You can learn more about how we consider cases here. Please avoid sharing any personal information in the comments below and join us in making this a hate-speech free and safe space for everyone.

This field is required.
This field is required.
This field is required.

We've helped free more than 240 innocent people from prison. Support our work to strengthen and advance the innocence movement.