Executed: Luke Williams III Dies by Lethal Injection

Relates to:
Date: 2009-02-20
Source: WJFB

A former Evans man has been executed for the murder of his wife and son. Luke Williams III was executed shortly after 6:00 tonight, at the Department of Corrections in Columbia, SC.

Columbia, SC—Luke Williams’ wait on death row is finally over.

It’s been 18 years since his wife, Linda Williams, and adopted son, Shaun, were found dead in a burning van left in a remote patch of woods in Edgefield County.

Linda was beaten to death, Shaun, had been strangled….their bodies were doused in gasoline, and then set on fire.

Police said it was staged, meant to appear as though the car had hit a tree, and caught fire.

It took a year for Williams to be arrested for the crime. He went to trial in 1993, where an Edgefield jury heard testimony that shortly before the murders, Williams had taken out more than $500,000 worth of life insurance on his family.

Despite maintaining innocence throughout the trial, he was found guilty.

Over the years, Williams repeatedly appealed his sentence. Wednesday, his final attempt was denied, and Friday night, he became the first parent to be executed for killing his child in South Carolina, since the ban on executions was lifted in 1977.

At 6:13 p.m. Friday night, Luke Williams’ life was over.

Williams was the 282nd person to be executed in the state of South Carolina.

Williams’ final meal:
—Fried chicken
—Baked potato with sour cream and butter
—Tossed salad
—Cranberry Sauce
—Peach Cobbler
—Fried Turkey

Published: February 20, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - An Evans, Georgia convicted of killing his wife and son to collect life insurance money has been executed in South Carolina.

Luke Williams was put to death by lethal injection Friday. The 56-year-old made no final statement and kept his eyes closed as the drugs were administered. Moments later he was motionless and was pronounced dead at 6:13 p.m.

Williams was convicted of killing 39-year-old wife Linda Williams and 12-year-old son Shaun in June 1991. Authorities say he took them across the state line into Sumter National Forest in South Carolina, where he killed them.

Their bodies had been doused with gasoline and set afire in the family’s van, which was driven into a tree.

Williams was arrested a year later after trying to collect $525,000 in insurance.

Williams was the 282nd person executed in the state of South Carolina.


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