Behind bars 12 years after officials stated she’s innocent
Cheryl Williamson’s life was not unlike the lives of other housewives. She was a hairstylist and a mother. She told one client and friend, “My life is like a fairy tale.” But Cheryl’s fairy tale life ended with the murder of her husband and her conviction in connection with his murder.
The State of Oklahoma pursued charges against Cheryl with controversial district attorney, Robert H. Macy handling the case. Robert H. Macy retired as district attorney for Oklahoma County in 2001 after sending an unprecedented 73 people to death row – 20 of which have been executed. A recent exoneration of one of those people has brought attention to the injustices that occurred under Macy’s watch. Truthinjustice.org said of Macy – “…he believes executing an innocent person is a sacrifice worth making in order to keep the death penalty in the United States.” Now an innocent woman sits in a prison cell 12 years after Macy’s office stated she’s innocent and they would prove her innocence. Is Cheryl Williamson just another sacrifice?
Three letters that prove Cheryl’s case have recently come to my attention. In one letter, Cheryl’s friend detailed Cheryl’s case. She stated, “…one day Cheryl told me about a boy that had come into her girls’ lives. She wasn’t happy about them spending time with him or his brothers…I asked her about the boy situation and she said it had become worse, the girls didn’t want to take advice from her or Mike [Cheryl's husband].” Cheryl’s friend stated that the situation then progressed to the point that Cheryl asked for advice to tell the boy he was no longer welcome in their home. Cheryl grew afraid of the boy and she told her friend that he was “saying inappropriate and disrespectful” things to her. When the friend later asked Mike how things were going with the boy, Mike informed her that the boy, Gary Southworth Jr., had been arrested when Cheryl had to call 911 and that he would be in jail, according to Mike, “for a very long while.” The friend worried and cautioned Mike about Gary wanting revenge. Mike told the friend, “You watch too many movies. I’m not afraid of him.” After Gary’s release from jail, he shot Mike. Mike died as a result of the attack.
A second letter soon arrived in the mail to Cheryl’s daughters that stated, “I have today’s paper and I read what happened last night about your stepdad Mike. I’m sorry about what happened. I have a feeling about who did it. ‘G’ told some people he was going to do it and I was one of them. He told me he was going to do it like it happened. He said in the middle of the night and he was going to take the truck for a spin. That’s what happened isn’t it?”
Gary was arrested and he told the authorities that he and Cheryl had been having an affair and that it was her idea for him to murder Mike. Cheryl is currently in prison in connection with Mike’s murder because of Gary’s statement and testimony.
Perhaps the most intriguing letter is one dated November 7, 1997 and said to have been written by Robert Macy himself to Gary Southworth. This letter was faxed to Cheryl’s attorney two years later from Macy’s office.
The letter from the district attorney’s office is a shock on so many levels. To me, the biggest shock is the fact that it’s currently December of 2009 and Cheryl Williamson is still behind bars.
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