Cameron Todd Willingham (Photo from camerontoddwillingham.com)
Johnny E. Webb, the informer who testified more than 20 years ago that Cameron Todd Willingham murdered his own children, now says his testimony was coaxed by a prosecutor and wealthy Texas rancher who promised to reduce his prison sentence.
Willingham was convicted by former Navarro County prosecutor John H. Jackson and sentenced to death for deliberately setting fire to his house in late 1991, killing his three young daughters in the process. Jackson has long maintained that he never made a deal with Webb in exchange for testimony against Willingham.
But new evidence reported by The Marshall Project has once again cast doubt on Willingham’s guilt. In taped interviews, Webb, who has twice before attempted to recant his testimony that Willingham had confessed to him while both served time in Navarro County Jail, now says he lied on the witness stand in return for a reduced prison sentence for robbery, and for thousands of dollars of support from millionaire rancher Charles S. Pearce Jr.