A Virginia death row inmate scheduled for execution Thursday wants a barbering gadget he invented in jail to be marketed -- with profits going to the family of his victim.
"I know they might hate me," Willie Lloyd Turner, 40, was quoted as saying yesterday in the Virginian-Pilot and the Ledger Star. "I don't want to buy their friendship or respect; this is from the heart."
Turner, a former hair stylist, was sentenced to death for the 1978 robbery-murder of a Franklin jeweler, W. Jack Smith Jr.
The convicted killer invented what he calls "de-ending shears" as he passed the hours at Mecklenburg Correctional Center sitting alone with a pencil, pad and handmade cardboard ruler.
His scribbling resulted in U.S. Patent No. 4,428,111. The shears, designed to remove split ends, feature a moving blade mounted to a still blade. It floats like shears but cuts like clippers.
Turner said that after years of pondering his crime, the family of Smith "seem like family now. I just want 'em to have it."
The slain man's relatives, however, have different thoughts. "I don't want anything from him but his execution," said Smith's son, William Smith III.