William Morva, 35, was executed after killing two men during an escape attempt in 2006 despite a campaign to spare his life
William Morva, 35, was sentenced to death by the state of Virginia after murdering a Sheriff’s deputy and hospital security guard after a botched escape from custody in 2006.
Morva had been taken to the hospital to treat an injury while being held in custody for attempted robbery charges, where he shot an unarmed security guard, attacked the Sheriff’s deputy, and one day later killed another Sheriff’s deputy.
A campaign by mental health advocates and Mova’s attorneys attempted to convince the Virginia governor to spare Morva’s life, stating that his crimes were a result of severe mental illness and he could not be held responsible.
A psychiatrist diagnosed Morva with delusional disorder, an illness akin to schizophrenia that prompted delusions of conspiracy theories and unfounded delusions, such as that he had a fatal gastrointestinal disease (he did not), among other things.
Morva’s lawyers stated his mental illness was behind his escape attempt, as he was certain he would end up being “assassinated” in jail.
Morva was known around Blacksburg as “Crazy Will”, and had a tendency never to wear shoes – even in the winter.
Morva’s execution proceeds as planned
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe stated: “I personally oppose the death penalty, however, I took an oath to uphold the laws of this Commonwealth regardless of my personal views of those laws, as long as they are being fairly and justly applied.”
Morva was pronounced dead after a lethal injection at 9:15 P.M at the Greensville Correctional Center.
Morva wore jeans and a blue-shirt declined to say any last words, although he could be heard speaking a few moments later – it was unclear what he said.
Morva is the third inmate to be executed since Governor McAuliffe took office in 2014.