Former D.A. remembers murder case

By Kevin Wheeler - bio | email

PERRY COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Former 12th judicial district attorney Glenn White has prosecuted has prosecuted many cases, but the murder case of Rhonda Crane is one he will never forget.

"I can still see that body," said White. "You try this case and you become involved with it; it's intense."

After many years of the appeal process, Crane's convicted killer will die by lethal injection Wednesday evening nearly 24 years after the original execution date.

"This particular case, there is no doubt in my mind that this man is guilty," White said. "There are just mountains of evidence."

The first trial was held in Hinds County in April 1987 because of pre-trial publicity. It was an emotional trial. White describes an intense moment after crane's father testified.

"He walked within inches of that man and I couldn't have done it," White said. "I could not have done that as a father; just having to walk by him that close and not do something."

The jury found Woodward guilty and he was sentenced to death, but the U.S. Supreme Court changed a crime definition.

"The U.S. Supreme Court changed the definition of heinous, atrocious or cruel," said White. "You had to go back and get a new trial on that case on that issue and that issue alone."

Eight years later, Woodward was tried and convicted again in Perry County.

White said he is comfortable knowing he did everything right, but he says in a case like this, there is no real closure.

"It's not closure for them because they've had to live with that for 24 years."

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