Marlon DeWayne Williams, who carried out the contract killing of a Chesapeake woman, was executed by injection tonight after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant a stay and he withdrew a clemency petition to Gov. James S. Gilmore III (R).
Williams, 26, who killed Helen Bedsole for $4,000 in a murder-for-hire arranged by her husband, was pronounced dead at the Greensville Correctional Center here.
Williams, who was shaking from the moment he entered the death chamber, did not make a final statement. During the afternoon, he was visited by his mother and aunt.
Five members of the slain woman's family witnessed the execution and held a news conference outside the prison afterward.
Clark Bedsole Jr., 23, Helen Bedsole's son, said he was relieved that his mother's killer was dead but felt Williams had it easy compared with what happened to his mother, who was shot twice in the head.
"It was fast," Bedsole said of the execution. ". . . He won't be hurting anybody else."
"It closes a chapter," said Ann Cascell, of Norfolk, the dead woman's sister-in-law.
The Supreme Court had voted 7 to 2 earlier in the day to deny a stay, with Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the minority.
In a clemency petition to Gilmore, attorney Gerald T. Zerkin wrote that Williams should be spared because of childhood abuse. Williams was seriously beaten, locked inside for days at a time while his mother went out partying and later was put in foster homes, Zerkin wrote.
Zerkin withdrew the petition at mid-afternoon, Gilmore spokeswoman Lila Young said. She said he gave no reason.
Williams pleaded guilty to the Nov. 9, 1993, shooting death of Bedsole. Clark Bedsole was convicted by a jury and is serving a life term.
Helen Bedsole's relatives were not impressed by Williams's abuse claims.
"I'm sorry that DeWayne had such a bad childhood, but for the last six years what me and my brother went through would not excuse us to go out and kill somebody," said Sherry Bedsole, of Jarvisburg, N.C., who was 21 when her mother was slain. "He's getting what he deserves."
As far as her father is concerned, Sherry Bedsole told the Richmond Times-Dispatch, "He's lucky he's not lying right beside him."
Cascell, Helen Bedsole's sister-in-law, said, "This excuse of abuse is just unreal. There are millions of adults out there who were abused and who never killed anybody."
The Bedsoles were in the middle of a divorce when Bedsole paid Williams to kill his wife. Bedsole knew Williams because Williams had been selling him cocaine.