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A Sister Defends her Brother who was Wrongly Convicted and Executed

Updated on April 11, 2017

Susie Williams Carter Seeks Justice for her Brother Alexander Williams, who was Falsely Accused and Electrocuted

Susie Williams Carter, looks to her Heavenly Father Jehovah, for strong faith,  to give her peace and know that one day justice will be done for her brother who was wrongly convicted and put to death.
Susie Williams Carter, looks to her Heavenly Father Jehovah, for strong faith, to give her peace and know that one day justice will be done for her brother who was wrongly convicted and put to death.

A Devastated Family Seeks Justice for Their Loved One

A sixteen year old by the name of Alexander McClay Williams, was placed in the electric chair. His one hundred twenty five pound body was so diminutive that something was placed underneath Alexander, in order for the execution officers to carry out this unjust electrocution. Tears flowed down Williams' face as a hood was placed over his head. Alexander, was somewhat mentally challenged so he did not fully comprehend, why he was being put to death. Suddenly, more than two thousand volts of electricity pummeled the body of Alexander on June 8th, 1931.

Why was Alexander Williams Put to Death?

Alexander McClay Williams, was sent to Glen Mills reform school, after being accused of setting a barn on fire. Alexander was supposed to serve four years at this facility for juvenile delinquents. During his sentence a Caucasian woman by the name of Vida Robare, was murdered at this location. She was brutally stabbed forty seven times with an ice pick. Many people including the victim's family, acknowledged that this was a crime of passion. Fred Robare, husband of the Vida, was the obvious suspect.

During an interview on Fox 29 News at 10, Fred's great niece Teresa Smithers stated, "My ancestor got away with murder." Chris O'Connell, a reporter with Fox spoke with Teresa over the telephone. "She told us that her uncle came from a very abusive and alcoholic family and after doing her own research, she even believes Alexander McClay Williams was framed." During his report O'Connell explained, "In a stunning revelation not known until recently, they learned Vida Robare had divorced her husband nine years earlier in Michigan. The reason she stated in the records, 'Extreme cruelty.' The belief is that Robare killed his wife in a fit of rage and framed it on the closest delinquent he could find and don't take their word for it."

Unfortunately, after the murder of Vida Robare, Alexander Williams was arrested October 10, 1930. He was convicted by an all white jury. Two hundred and forty three days later, Williams was executed on June 8th, 1931. Without any family present, this dejected 16 year old young man was put to death based on varietal evidence. His family was devastated.

Today, Susie Williams Carter, the sister of Alexander Williams still wants her brother to be exonerated for the murder of Vida Robare. With tears in her eyes Susie commented, "Anybody now knows that you stab somebody all that many times, it was a crime of passion." The extreme sadness and tears on Susie's face, touched the hearts of viewers as they could see the pain and loss of her brother was still present. She never had the privilege to know Alexander. Susie, was only an infant when he was fallaciously convicted and put to death for a murder Alexander, could not have possibly committed.

Sam Lemon has Worked Hard to Prove Alexander Williams was Innocent

Author Sam Lemon's great-grandfather William Ridley, represented Alexander McClay Williams during the trial when he was convicted. Lemon, has worked diligently doing research which revealed new evidence to prove that Williams did not kill Robare.
Author Sam Lemon's great-grandfather William Ridley, represented Alexander McClay Williams during the trial when he was convicted. Lemon, has worked diligently doing research which revealed new evidence to prove that Williams did not kill Robare.

Powerful New Evidence has Been Revealed

Sam Lemon, an outstanding author was interviewed during the Fox 29 News feature. He turned out to be the stranger that discovered new evidence which proves Alexander McClay Williams, was an innocent victim of the justice system. "Originally, my goal was to find out why he would do this." News reporter O'Connell, mentioned during the broadcast how, "Lemon, has been researching this case for the past thirty years because his great-grandfather William Ridley, was the attorney who originally represented Williams during his murder trial." With tremendous compassion Lemon, went on to express, "The image of him sitting in that electric chair with a hood over his head, I can't get that out of my mind. This story haunts me." Chris O'Connell also mentioned, "Lemon uncovered a trove of new evidence. Forged documents, changing Williams' age and Robare's death certificate written in different color ink days before the boy was even arrested. The headlines of the day saying: 'The Crime Was Committed By An Adult.' The bloody handprint on the wall although Williams never had a speck of blood on him that day."

Toward the end of the interview with Chris O'Connell, Lemon emphatically acknowledged that unless justice was served regarding the declaration of Alexander Williams' innocence by the judicial system, "It is also a stain on the court. It is a stain on the honor of the court."


Attorney Robert Keller Works Diligently on the Case to Expunge Alexander Williams' Record Wherein he was Falsely Accused of Murder and Executed

Attorney Robert Keller, represents Alexander Williams, who was falsely accused of a horrific murder and executed. Williams was a minor and now evidence has been presented that he did not commit the murder, he was put to death for.
Attorney Robert Keller, represents Alexander Williams, who was falsely accused of a horrific murder and executed. Williams was a minor and now evidence has been presented that he did not commit the murder, he was put to death for.

Alexander's Attorney was Accused of "Grand Standing" by the Judge

The very determined and astute Robert Keller, Esquire stood before Judge John Capuzzi. A feeling of frigidity filled the room. Susie Williams Carter, along with family and friends appeared with heavy hearts. They wanted to clear Alexander's name for his last surviving sibling. The entire situation has been unbearable for Susie, now in her eighties. Other family members and friends just want justice for Alexander McClay Williams as well.

Disappointment permeated the courtroom as Judge Capuzzi claimed: "The petition lacked standing. . .It does not identify a person of interest." The Judge went on to explain, "It does not give this court or anybody that picks up the record, information about what you are seeking." Negative words such as "grandstanding and unprepared" were flagrantly used by Judge Capuzzi toward Keller. His concern was that the attorney would "turn the hearing into a show instead of addressing the issues. . ." The Judge agreed that he would give Attorney Keller, "one week to either attach an affidavit or establish an estate."

During an interview Keller, fervently expressed how he had filed a petition and checked with the DA's office to "explore any possible issues, but received no response until fifteen minutes before Friday's hearing." Within an article by Alex Rose, of the Delaware County Daily Times,Judge Capuzzi acknowledged, "I'm trying to make sure that we don't commit any errors. So we'll do it this way and if the Commonwealth does not file an objection, then I'll enter the order. It is as simple as that." The negative tone toward Attorney Keller from Judge Capuzzi, made members of the family feel uncomfortable and disillusioned.

Attorney Robert Keller, remained subdued and confident during the proceedings. He finally admitted after the hearing: "I have thick skin." A graduate from Temple University in 1979, Keller practices Criminal Law. He is representing Alexander, in order to clear his name of this bloodcurdling murder, that evidence has now proven he did not commit. Attorney Keller, carefully explained, "In criminal matters you do not have to create an estate. It is not needed. The code of ethics do not require it. I am doing this pro bono. Any costs have been out of my pocket. It is expensive to create an estate. This could cost several hundred dollars. It can create potential tax issues. There are so many layers to create an estate. It doesn't make sense." The frustration was clearly present within Keller's eyes. He would continue to do what is humanly possible to represent Alexander McClay Williams regardless of the persecution and disappointments because "there has never been a case like this in the state of Pennsylvania and there will never be another one," because minors are not allowed to be put to death by the state. This was truly an original case with original concerns.


Susie Williams Carter was Interviewed Along With her Family About the Evidence Discovered That will Exonerate Alexander Williams

The Family Members and Friends Who Attended the Hearing in an attempt to Exonerate Alexander Williams

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Ocie Williams, is the daughter of Susie Williams, the sister of Alexander Williams, a minor who was executed more than 86 years agoSusie Williams Carter, is with her granddaughter Tonya, after the hearing at the courthouse.Ocie Williams and her daughter Tonya.Marie Williams, the daughter-in-law of Susie Williams Carter, was also present at the hearing.Traci and Sydni Brown, were also present at the hearing. They are family members of Alexander's oldest sister Alice Graves, now deceased.Lee Graves and Tina, his wife along with nephew Kenneth Lee Graves, attended the hearing as well. Jay Frances, a close family member for numerous years was there to support the family for the hearing on Alexander Williams.Susie Carter's grandson Sam, came to support the family as well for the hearing.David Carter, is Susie Carter's son along with Jay Frances. Both attended to support the family at the hearing.Edward Guy Williams, is nephew of Susie Carter, the sister of Alexander Williams.Ms. Bonnie, who specializes in crab cakes attended the hearing for Alexander Williams, who was falsely charged and executed.The hearing was held at Delaware County Courthouse on Friday, March 10th, 2017.My sister Paulette, Ms. Bonnie and other family members gathered outside the courthouse after the hearing. Snow fell during and after the hearing.
Ocie Williams, is the daughter of Susie Williams, the sister of Alexander Williams, a minor who was executed more than 86 years ago
Ocie Williams, is the daughter of Susie Williams, the sister of Alexander Williams, a minor who was executed more than 86 years ago
Susie Williams Carter, is with her granddaughter Tonya, after the hearing at the courthouse.
Susie Williams Carter, is with her granddaughter Tonya, after the hearing at the courthouse.
Ocie Williams and her daughter Tonya.
Ocie Williams and her daughter Tonya.
Marie Williams, the daughter-in-law of Susie Williams Carter, was also present at the hearing.
Marie Williams, the daughter-in-law of Susie Williams Carter, was also present at the hearing.
Traci and Sydni Brown, were also present at the hearing. They are family members of Alexander's oldest sister Alice Graves, now deceased.
Traci and Sydni Brown, were also present at the hearing. They are family members of Alexander's oldest sister Alice Graves, now deceased.
Lee Graves and Tina, his wife along with nephew Kenneth Lee Graves, attended the hearing as well.
Lee Graves and Tina, his wife along with nephew Kenneth Lee Graves, attended the hearing as well.
Jay Frances, a close family member for numerous years was there to support the family for the hearing on Alexander Williams.
Jay Frances, a close family member for numerous years was there to support the family for the hearing on Alexander Williams.
Susie Carter's grandson Sam, came to support the family as well for the hearing.
Susie Carter's grandson Sam, came to support the family as well for the hearing.
David Carter, is Susie Carter's son along with Jay Frances. Both attended to support the family at the hearing.
David Carter, is Susie Carter's son along with Jay Frances. Both attended to support the family at the hearing.
Edward Guy Williams, is nephew of Susie Carter, the sister of Alexander Williams.
Edward Guy Williams, is nephew of Susie Carter, the sister of Alexander Williams.
Ms. Bonnie, who specializes in crab cakes attended the hearing for Alexander Williams, who was falsely charged and executed.
Ms. Bonnie, who specializes in crab cakes attended the hearing for Alexander Williams, who was falsely charged and executed.
The hearing was held at Delaware County Courthouse on Friday, March 10th, 2017.
The hearing was held at Delaware County Courthouse on Friday, March 10th, 2017.
My sister Paulette, Ms. Bonnie and other family members gathered outside the courthouse after the hearing. Snow fell during and after the hearing.
My sister Paulette, Ms. Bonnie and other family members gathered outside the courthouse after the hearing. Snow fell during and after the hearing.

Family Members and Friends Want Justice and Closure

Tina, the wife of Lee Graves, nephew of Alexander summed up the wrongful conviction and execution of Alexander Williams this way: "I really think even though its been eighty six years, its time for justice to be done. He was unjustly killed after all these years. They swept it under the table, now its out and it is time for something to be done. The family needs some type of closure. I really believe that young man was innocent. How could a sixteen year old commit a murder like that. It is no way! That had to be done by someone else."

Kenneth Lee Graves, nephew of Alexander made this comment about the justice system: "They can't say no more. They say it can and shall be used against you which is The Miranda Law. For them to speak is to speak against themselves. You are guilty. You have no defense. Throw yourselves on the mercy of your law. it took two days to convict him." Graves could not understand why, it was taking the legal system so long to undo this wrong conviction and execution of his uncle? Eighty six years later, justice for Alexander, still evades the Williams family.

Bonnie White, Kenneth Graves' god-mom stated, "It is deep. Eighty something years and it brings back a lot because we talk about Black Lives Matter. I look forward to him being exonerated because he is crying out from the grave to be exonerated."

This case has touched the lives of so many people. It is our prayer and hope for the future that Alexander McClay Williams, will be exonerated before the death of his last living sibling. Susie Williams Carter, has suffered this tremendous loss. The intensity of her pain for this loss of Alexander, continues to be insufferable. She was an infant when her brother was electrocuted by the state. Susie, never had the privilege to know her brother; only this abhorrent legacy of Alex. She finds comfort in her daily prayers to her Heavenly Father Jehovah, that one day this issue will be resolved. Her strong faith and trust in God, gives Susie hope for the future that one day Alexander and others like him who were unjustly murdered, will receive justice. Powerful scriptures like Proverbs 3:5,6 reminds Susie of the real source of trust and faith as it states: "Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he will make your paths straight." May we all be in prayer for the Williams family and that true justice will prevail for all mankind in the future.

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      Lawrence Hebb 4 weeks ago

      Claudette.

      Great article here, there are so many like this, where innocent people paid for the crimes of others.

      It's time to give the family 'closure' and time to stop the practice.

      It's crimes like these that force me to be against capital punishment.

    • Angelladywriter profile image
      Author

      Claudette Coleman Carter 4 weeks ago from Media, Pennsylvania

      Hi Lawrence,

      I totally agree. There are so many cases like this within the judicial system. I see the pain these type of situations can cause a family. It is time for this family to receive closure, that is why the Williams family should be kept in our prayers as well as other families that have experienced and endured these type of situations.

      Thanks again Lawrence for your encouraging response to this article.

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