Man convicted in 1995 murder of 2-month-old son dies on Alabama’s Death Row


A 45-year-old man on Alabama’s Death Row has died.

Willie Dorrell Minor, of Tuscaloosa, died in the infirmary at William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility on Dec. 21, the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office announced on Wednesday. The cause of death has not yet been released, but authorities said Minor died from natural causes.

Minor was convicted of shaking his 2-month-old son, Ebious Jennings, to death in 1995. Ebious was left in the care of Minor on April 15, 1995 at the apartment Minor shared with the baby’s mother.

The mother, Lakeisha Jennings, testified in trial that she left the apartment that night, between 9:35 p.m. and 9:40 p.m. When she returned, she picked up the baby and noticed that his eyes were half open, and he was not breathing or moving.

He was taken to DCH Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead. Doctors reported that tests showed the baby had multiple rib fractures, bleeding in the retina, and at least two skull fractures. An autopsy later showed that the infant’s injuries included 12 recently fractured ribs, internal bleeding caused by a torn liver and a torn spleen, skull fractures and trauma to the scrotum area.

The cause of the boy’s death was blunt-force trauma to the head and chest, in addition to the brain damage caused by shaking.

While awaiting trial, Minor escaped lockup but was later recaptured. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1996, but the Alabama Supreme Court ordered a new trial for him, ruling that jurors were not instructed how to consider his prior convictions.

Minor was found guilty of capital murder again in February 2001, and again sentenced to death. Minor maintained his innocence throughout both trials.