Topic: Ron Williamson

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Ronald "Ron" Keith Williamson (February 3, 1953, Oklahoma—December 4, 2004) was a minor league baseball catcher/pitcher who was one of two men wrongly convicted in 1988 in Oklahoma for the rape and murder of Debra Sue "Debbie" Carter. Dennis Fritz was sentenced to life imprisonment, while Williamson was sentenced to death. Both were released 11 years later when DNA evidence proved their innocence. Their story became the subject of bestselling author John Grisham's first nonfiction book, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town.

Born and raised in Ada, Oklahoma, Williamson was the 41st pick in baseball's 1971 amateur draft, a second-round selection by the Oakland Athletics. He spent the 1972 season primarily with the Coos Bay-North Bend A's, hitting .265 in 52 games. In 1973, he had a poor year, hitting .137 for the Key West Conchs with only 13 runs produced in 59 games. A shoulder injury derailed his career for the next few years. His father, through a childhood friendship with former major league pitcher Harry "The Cat" Brecheen, got him a look with the New York Yankees, where he pitched in their minor league system for parts of 1976 & 1977. In his last season, he pitched in 14 games, working 33 innings. At the age of 24 his baseball career was over. He did try to spark further interest in himself from the Yankees camp 2 years later but was unsuccessful, although another small stint in the minors did follow. This was cut short due yet again to the nagging shoulder injury.

His baseball career over, Williamson became addicted to drugs and alcohol and suffered from increasingly severe mental illness, becoming depressed and living with his mother.

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