Kenneth Williams, Arkansas


April 28, 2017

Kenneth Dewayne Williams was executed by the state of Arkansas on Thursday, April 27, 2017. Kenneth was pronounced dead at 11:05 pm CDT, inside the Cummins Unit execution chamber near Varner, Arkansas. His execution was delayed several hours due to appeals. Kenneth was 38 years of age. He was executed for the murder of 57-year-old Cecil Boren on October 3, 1999, in Varner, Arkansas. Kenneth spent the last 17 years of his life on Arkansas’ death row.

Kenneth was exposed to drugs and alcohol from a young age. He also grew up in a violent home. Growing up, Kenneth suffered from developmental disabilities, making it difficult for him in school.

On December 13, 1998, Peter Robertson and his friend Dominique Herd, both students at the University of Arkansas, were kidnapped at gunpoint upon leaving a restaurant in Pine Bluff, where they were eating dinner. They were forced to drive around their kidnapper, later identified as Kenneth Williams, until he eventually forced them out of the vehicle. During their drive, Williams continuously told the couple that they would be fine. After forcing them to exit the vehicle, Williams asked where they were from. Peter said, “New Jersey,” while Dominique answered “Dallas.” Williams said, “I don’t like the [expletive deleted] from Dallas anyway,” before shooting at both Peter and Dominique. Peter survived his injuries and was able to call the police. Dominique died from a gunshot wound to the head.


Williams was convicted and sentenced by a jury to life in prison, without the possibility of parole on September 15, 1999.


On October 3, 1999, less than one month after beginning his sentence, Williams escaped from the Cummins Unit, where he was serving his sentence. Williams escaped by hiding in a vat of pig slop being taken away on a garbage truck. Williams made his way to the home of Cecil Boren, who was at home tending to his garden. Cecil was shot and killed by Williams, who then dragged Cecil’s body to a bayou.


Williams stole several firearms from Cecil’s home, along with his truck. Williams managed to evade the police for several days. Williams was recaptured following a high-speed chase, which resulted in Williams crashing into a water truck and killing the driver. Williams was sentenced to death for Cecil’s death in 2000.


In 2005, Williams also confessed to the murder of a third man, 36-year-old Jerrell Jenkins on December 13, 1998. Williams received another life term, without the possibility of parole.


Jason McGhee was also scheduled to be executed on Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Arkansas. Jason was granted a stay of execution.


Please pray for peace and healing for Peter Robertson and his family. Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Dominique Hurd, Cecil Boren, and Jerrell Jenkins. Please pray for strength for the family of Kenneth.


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