Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Woman's Killer Is Sentenced to Death Murder `Not like Him,' Mother Had Testified

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Woman's Killer Is Sentenced to Death Murder `Not like Him,' Mother Had Testified

Article excerpt

By all accounts, Bobby O. "Na-Na" Williams' only previous brush with the law was a police lecture he got as a child after he and some neighborhood buddies were accused of shoplifting tire patches for their bicycles.

Now Williams, 21, faces death row at the Menard Correctional Center followed by execution for murdering the night manager of a Belleville convenience store two years ago.

Williams was convicted of the murder Monday in circuit court in Belleville. The jury gave him the death penalty Monday night. Williams' mother, Shermane Turner, testified at the death-penalty hearing that to keep her son out of trouble, she kept him in their East St. Louis home most of the time, took him to her pentecostal church four times a week and helped him enlist in the Marines right after high school graduation. "I know how it is out there," she said. But less than a year later, Williams was discharged from the Marines due to asthma, and within months, he and some buddies from the streets were charged in the clerk's shooting plus the execution-style murder of their 16-year-old driver who panicked and left them stranded. "Really, it's just not like him," his mother told the jury. "He didn't have that kind of heart." That made the murders all the more chilling, argued the prosecutor, assistant St. Clair County state's attorney Lisa Porter. Williams had potential, she said. "He threw it all away." The first victim, Sharon Bushong, 34, of Belleville, was working alone when she was shot to death just before 1 a.m. on Nov. 3, 1994, behind the counter of the Convenient Food Mart at 9618 West Main Street. Porter said the other victim, Carlos Robertson, 16, of Washington Park, was hunted down at his home an hour or two later, forced to lie on the floor, and executed with two bullets to the head. Illinois State Police firearms expert James M. Hall testified that ballistics tests proved the same weapon, a .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol taken from Williams when he was arrested, was used to kill both victims. …

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