A Kansas City, Mo., man convicted of what prosecutors called a cold-blooded, execution-style killing was put to death early Wednesday. William R. Jones Jr. died at 12:04 a.m., three minutes after the first of three lethal doses was administered at the Potosi Correctional Center. He was the sixth Missouri inmate executed this year and the 59th since the state's death penalty was reinstated in 1989. Jones was convicted of first-degree murder in the January 1986 death of Stanley Albert, whom he'd met at a Kansas City park frequented by gay men. Jones maintained that he shot Albert in self-defense when Albert made unwanted sexual advances. One of Jones's attorneys, Charlie Rogers, said Jones's version was supported by his subsequent diagnosis of ego dystonic-homosexuality, a discomfort with one's homosexual inclinations, along with borderline personality disorder.
Patrick Peters, a former Jackson County prosecutor who tried the case, described Jones as a "schmoozer" who lied to his psychiatrist by initially claiming he was straight. Peters said that while Jones claimed to be upset by Albert's sexual advances, Jones was in fact bisexual and living with a male lover. Peters said Jones plotted the killing after meeting and dating Albert and deciding he wanted his Camaro. He said he shot Albert five times with a .22 caliber gun on January 16, 1986, and left him near the George Owens Nature Center in Independence. Investigators found the body weeks later. Evidence included bullets and vehicle license plates found in Jones's home as well as proof of his purchase of a shovel to bury the body, Peters said. He said Jones used the "homophobic rage" alibi in a postconviction hearing when his claim of innocence didn't persuade jurors. "He cold-bloodedly executed this guy," Peters said.