14 March 2000 – Ponchai Wilkerson

Ponchai WilkersonGive him his dues, Ponchai Kamau Wilkerson did his level best to evade execution on this day in 2000.

He had been found guilty of armed robbery and murder and while banged up he tried to escape, which failed so he took a warder hostage. Then, to cap it all, he refused to go to his execution and then harboured delusions that he’d be able to set himself free from the restraints with a key he’d concealed in his mouth.

Bling it on

Wilkerson was on death row for killing a jewellery shop owner after he entered the store with an accomplice, left, then re-entered before pulling out a pistol and shooting the jeweller in the head. He then smashed open cabinets and helped himself to the booty.

He did try to claim the death was self defence but as he had a string of previous crimes to his name including a drive-by shooting it didn’t wash.

He was finally put to death by lethal injection in Texas for the murder but Wilkerson’s execution was not smooth.

Key restraints

‘I will not cooperate with your act of murder’, he announced, which seemed a bit rich coming from a convicted killer…but he wasn’t wrong.

First he refused to leave his death row cell and had to be forcibly removed. Then as the injection was administered, he coughed out a key that would have unlocked all his shackles. Wilkerson had obviously convinced himself that he could stage some kind of nail-bitingly last-minute escape.

But it wasn’t meant to be. The 28-year-old died on this day in 2000.

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6 Responses to “14 March 2000 – Ponchai Wilkerson”

  1. K. Bandell Says:

    …the issue of the key should not, I believe, be literally interpreted but interpreted rather in the context of other behaviours and of a philosophy embraced by Mr. Wilkerson that at some level he was free….in an environment in which searches are extraordinarily commonplace – that is, in a maximum secirity prison in which residents are housed for almost twenty-four hours a day in single cells – Mr. Wilerson’s having obtained and having sequestered a key diminished virtually all notions about the security of the system….in peace….

    • 663019 Says:

      It should be pointed out however that he is the reason that the death row Inmates are now housed 23 hrs a day. Before his failed escape the were not!

  2. kris wilkerson Says:

    alot of people git lost in the signifigance of the key..that is something shared between my brother and I…and not to be understood…so debate on,people.. The truth lives and breathes.

  3. H. Meier Says:

    rest in peace – don`t need no keys

  4. gagirl Says:

    He was a good looking guy

  5. Burton Says:

    Ponchai was a soldier in my opinion he went out with a fight.He was murdered by the system just as the American government murders innocent women and children abroad and cover it up as ‘War on Terrorism’.

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