CHICAGO -- Among the 81 pre-Thanksgiving clemency requests granted by Gov. Pat Quinn is a Chicago woman who stabbed her boyfriend to death 30 years ago in a killing that the prisoner review board found was in self-defense.
Felecia Williams killed her boyfriend, Lonnie Brown, in 1982 during a fight in which he struck her in the throat, choked her and threw a heavy decanter at her, according to documents from the prisoner review board. During the struggle, she ran to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and stabbed Brown as he ran toward her.
She was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to four years of probation and 120 days of periodic imprisonment.
"I took the life of Lonnie Brown and have lived with that fact for the last 24 years," Williams wrote in her clemency petition. "I am terrible sorry for the harm I have done to my children, to Lonnie's family and to my own family. I would never have taken the actions that I did on March 16, 1982, if not for the fear I had on that day for my own life."
Brown also was the father of her twin daughters.
With her request granted, Williams, now 55, can try to have her conviction expunged, something she sought in hopes of making it easier to find work, the Chicago Tribune reported. She was fired from a job as a home care provider for the sick and elderly in 2006 when her employer discovered the conviction during a background check.
Quinn's office said in a statement that the governor was making another in a series of clemency decisions aimed at clearing a backlog of more than 2,500 cases that built up under his predecessor. Quinn also denied 88 clemency petitions on Wednesday.