ALABAMA (WHNT) — Governor Kay Ivey’s office announced that Casey Allen McWhorter, who had been on death row for nearly 30 years, was executed on Thursday night.
McWhorter was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for the 1993 fatal shooting of Edward Lee Williams in Marshall County after a jury voted 10-2 for his execution.
McWhorter was officially pronounced dead at 6:56 p.m., Attorney General Steve Marshall said.
His execution window began at midnight on Thursday, and Gov. Ivey sent out an announcement Thursday saying she did not exercise her clemency powers and directed Corrections Commissioner John Hamm to proceed with McWhorter’s death sentence.
“Despite the fact that Mr. McWhorter managed to delay his date with justice for over three decades, his guilt of Mr. Williams’ premeditated robbery and murder was never in question. In Alabama, we uphold the rule of law and hold accountable those who take the lives of others. Casey McWhorter has finally paid for his heinous crime.” Governor Kay Ivey said.
Attorney General Steve Marshall said as of 3 p.m., he informed to Department of Corrections there were no remaining legal challenges to the execution of the sentence.
“McWhorter was put to death for the brutal murder and robbery of Edward Lee Williams of Marshall County. Justice is the value we place on the life that was wronged. I regret that Mr. Williams’s family had to wait for over three decades for this finality. Most of us will never understand the agony that families like the Williams faced, waiting to see if the justice system really is just,” Marshall said.
According to death row inmate records, McWhorter was the first man from Marshall County to be sentenced to death after capital punishment resumed in 1976 and is now the first man to be executed in Alabama from Marshall County.
On October 18, Governor Kay Ivey sent out a release saying she set a 30-hour time frame where McWhorter can be lethally injected, beginning at midnight on Thursday, November 16 and expiring at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, November 17.
According to court records, McWhorter who was 18 at the time, ‘plotted’ to rob and shoot Williams with two teenage co-defendants, including William’s 15-year-old son.
Court documents show that McWhorter and a 16-year-old co-defendant entered the house while Williams wasn’t home and were there for hours, going through the house and trying to make silencers for guns they found inside. When William arrived home, court records state he struggled with McWhorter and the other teen over the gun until McWhorter shot him multiple times.
“Ed Williams was shot a total of 11 times by Casey McWhorter. Examination of his body later found that bullets struck several of his internal organs, including his liver, kidney, heart, and brain. Additionally, his aorta and pulmonary artery were pierced,” the Attorney General said.
McWhorter and the teen then allegedly left the house to meet up with William’s son and another teenager to divide up the money and things taken from the house. A filing in the U.S. Supreme Court from the Alabama Attorney General’s Office says that one of the teens “almost immediately went to the police and reported the crime.”
The two co-defendants took plea deals, court records show, and Williams’ son is serving life in prison. McWhorter was convicted in 1994 and has been on death row ever since, despite a number of appeals. The Supreme Court declined a request to review his case in 2021.
The attorney general asked the Supreme Court to order that the governor could set a date for McWhorter’s execution in August, and the court granted that motion on October 13.
The Alabama Supreme Court changed procedures and moved to a ‘time frame’ structure following an internal review of executions to give the state more time to carry out a death sentence. Previously, the court issued a death warrant authorizing the state to carry out the execution on a single day.