Families Await Execution - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/20/02

Families Await Execution

For the first time, Williams's only child, Tina Ragon, is talking about her dad and how he may soon die for a crime she's not sure her father committed.

Ragon was only 11 years old when her father went to prison. Jessie Darrell Williams attorneys are fighting to save his life. But, Williams is afraid her dad's days are numbered, especially since the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear what is likely his last appeal.

Ragon spent most of her childhood living with her mother, but she says she has always been close to her father and his artwork keeps him close to her heart. 

Her father has spent nearly 20 years on death row for killing Karon Ann Pierce. 

"He's always said he didn't do it," Ragon says. 

She says there are too many unanswered questions about the murder. 

"There were others involved in it and I can't point any fingers at anybody cause I don't know. Only God knows. I feel like I have to believe him cause he's my father and I'd like to think he wouldn't lie to me, I don't think he would lie to me."

Two weeks ago,  Ragon saw her dad for the first time in 12 years. They didn't talk about his trials. They didn't talk about Karon They didn't talk about his execution. 

"He seemed to be fine. He was real glad to see me. I was glad to see him. He looks a lot different than he does since I seen him at his last trial but it was a real good visit."

Tina knows that visit is one of the last before her father is executed,  and she is trying to cope with that finality.

With tears streaming down her face she says, "I don't want it to happen but I can't stop it and I feel helpless because I can't stop it and I know that but because of his faith in God I think he'll be goin' to a better place."

While struggling with her own grief, Ragon thinks too of Karon's family and their loss of a loved one. 

"I'm very sorry they had to lose Karon. She was just a kid, she was just 18 and I do feel sorry for them. My heart aches for them and I wish that there was something I could do to take it back but I can't."

The legal wranglings continue in this case. Williams lawyers have filed several motions in the Mississippi Supreme Court, including one that asks for a stay of execution to allow extra time to file yet more appeals. The attorney general argues Williams has exhausted all his appeals and the a-g has asked the supreme court to deny the motions and set an execution date. Meanwhile, the families on both sides wait.

By:Marcia Hill

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