death penalty news—-TEXAS

April 25

TEXAS—-new execution date

Execution Date Set for Man Who Killed Tylerite

A state district judge set the date of execution Thursday for Clifton
Lamar Williams, who has been condemned for killing a 93-year-old Tyler
woman in 2005.

Williams, 25, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced Oct. 13, 2006,
to death by lethal injection for killing Cecilia Schneider and setting her
on fire.

Judge Christi Kennedy, of the 114th District Court, ordered that the
defendant be put to death on July 28.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Williams appeal in March and
upheld the conviction and sentence.

However, Williams does have federal appeals he will pursue. Defense
attorney Jeff Haas told Judge Kennedy that a stay of execution would be
filed in federal court.

Evidence showed that Williams beat, strangled and stabbed Ms. Schneider to
death in her Tyler home on July 9, 2005, before setting her body and her
bed on fire and stealing her purse and car.

With their verdict, jurors found Williams was not mentally retarded and
there were no miti-gating circumstances that warranted a life sentence
instead of the death penalty.

2 mental health experts hired by the state said Williams was not mentally

Defense attorney Melvin Thompson said Thursday that they raised the issue
of mental retardation during the trial and they continue to assert that

During the trial, Thompson said evidence showed that the defendant was
mentally retarded. A mental health expert who examined Williams in early
adulthood for Social Security benefits diagnosed Williams with mental
retardation and paranoid schizophrenia. Another expert hired by the
defense examined Williams and found him to be mentally retarded.

Haas and Thompson appeared in court with Williams Thursday, as well as
First Assistant Smith County District Attorney April Sikes.

(source: Tyler Morning Telegraph)