Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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October 15, 2009

Affidavits dispute claims of innocence

Willingham said to have confessed to wife for 1991 fire

Two affidavits have been released by the City of Corsicana that seem to dispute the declarations in the national media that Cameron Todd Willingham was innocent when he was executed in 2004 for murdering his three daughters.

The first is from Ronnie Kuykendall, brother of Stacy Kuykendall, who gave a statement to Kirby Hill regarding one of Willingham’s last visits with his ex-wife. Kuykendall said that on Feb. 8, 2004, a week before Willingham was to be executed, that Willingham’s ex-wife, Stacy called her family together to tell them about her last visit with her ex-husband.

“Stacy asked all of us to come into the living room, at this time she started crying and told us about her visit with Willingham,” Kuykendall said in the affidavit. “She stated that after visiting with him for about one hour and 45 minutes he told her that he had set the fire because he knew that she was going to leave him in January (1992) like she had said and that she was going to divorce him and he figured if he did this she would stay with him and she could get her tubes untied and that they could start another family and that he wanted her to write the board a letter because he did not want to die.”

Stacy Kuykendall has refused to talk to the media since her ex-husband’s execution. However, she spoke to Daily Sun reporter Loyd Cook in 2004, shortly before Willingham’s death.

At the time she said she was convinced Todd Willingham did kill their children.

Kuykendall wanted it part of the record, said Justice of the Peace Kirby Hill, who was at that time an investigator with the District Attorney’s office.

“It was right after (the family) had the meeting,” Hill recalled. “I think he just thought it was something there needed to be a record of,” Hill said. “I don’t know if there was ever any other admission by (Willingham), and I think (Kuykendall) thought it was best that it be brought forward.”

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