Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wife Says Executed Killer Admitted Guilt

Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in 2004. He maintained his innocence until his execution. Some people suggest he was put death for murders he did not commit.

According to the Dallas Morning-News, Willingham was convicted of killing his children – 1-year-old twins Karmon and Kameron and 2-year-old Amber – by setting fire to his family's small house in Corsicana. His lawyers first submitted an expert's report that he was convicted on faulty arson theories to Governor Rick Perry's office days before his execution.

In recent years, the Texas Forensic Science Commission has looked into the case. Last year, the commission's hired expert issued a report identifying numerous scientific shortcomings in the fire investigation. The commission has yet to issue a final report.

In the meantime, State District Judge Charlie Baird has scheduled a hearing to determine whether Texas wrongly executed Willingham.

The Morning-News reported that the critical evidence during the hearing will probably be statements by a string of experts who have found in recent years that fire investigators who testified at Willingham's 1992 Navarro County trial had based their rulings of arson on theories that have been disproved by updated science.

Judge Baird also wants to hear from a man who testified that Willingham confessed to him about burning his house down with his children inside. In addition, Judge Baird may be interested in someone very close to Willingham who has broken her silence.

According to CNN, Willingham's ex-wife, Stacy Kuykendall, has kept a low profile throughout the debate over his execution. But she told reporters outside the Travis County courthouse in Austin that "I am here to make sure that my daughters' voices are heard." She went on to say, "Todd murdered Amber, Karmon and Kameron. He burnt them. He told me he did it -- he stood and watched while their tiny bodies burned."

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