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Release denied for death row inmate with cancer

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 | 2:00 p.m. CDT; updated 8:36 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

POTOSI — A Missouri death row inmate dying of throat cancer will apparently spend his final days in prison.

The Missouri Probation and Parole Board has denied a request filed by Brian Kinder’s doctors that the 47-year-old inmate be released to his family. The board did not explain its decision, which requires that Kinder remain at the Potosi Correctional Center in eastern Missouri.

“I don’t want to die in prison,” Kinder said in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I’m innocent, and I’ve suffered enough.”

Kinder was convicted in the 1990 rape and murder of his cousin, Cynthia Williams, in Crystal City. He told the newspaper that doctors filed the parole request on his behalf after determining that his throat cancer was spreading.

The victim’s daughter, Donielle Williams, 27, said she was pleased with the board’s decision.

“It shouldn’t have even been an option for him to put in a request for parole,” she said.

Kinder has lost 40 pounds since his conviction. He uses a mechanical device to help him speak but mostly writes his thoughts on a yellow legal pad.

He told the Post-Dispatch that he had complained for years about his symptoms. He figured the state failed to treat him because of his death sentence. “Instead of executing me, they would just let nature take its course,” he said.

Kinder didn’t know how much time he had left. “I don’t think I’m going to live much longer,” he said.

His attorney, Fred Duchardt, said an appeal for a new trial was pending after the Missouri Supreme Court ordered new DNA testing last year. But Kinder said he might be dead before the results were returned.

Duchardt said the original DNA testing was either flawed or contaminated, and that the state’s expert had erased a mark on the test that would have exonerated Kinder.

Cynthia Williams, 32, was beaten to death with a metal pipe in her home three days before Christmas in 1990.


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