Oklahoma Prosecutor Starts Web Site in Response to John Grisham Book

FEBRUARY 14, 2007 - Posted at 3:56 p.m. CST

ADA, OK - Pontotoc County (OK) District Attorney Bill Peterson in Oklahoma has put up a Web site in response to a book by best-selling author and Region 8 native John Grisham which criticizes the wrongful conviction of two men on murder charges.

The book "The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town" is about the conviction and eventual exoneration of Ron Williamson in the 1982 rape and murder of Deborah Sue Carter in Ada.  Williamson and Dennis Fritz were convicted with Williamson given the death penalty and Fritz life in prison.

Both were later cleared by DNA evidence and a key prosecution witness in the case has been convicted of the crime.

Peterson says the book is not accurate and he's started a Web site in which he disputes conclusions made by Grisham and points out suspected errors.

Peterson says circumstantial evidence convinced him at the time that Williamson and Fritz were the killers.

Grisham was born in Jonesboro, and spent his first seven years in Black Oak, in eastern Craighead County.  His 2001 novel "A Painted House" was set in that town in 1952.  Other books include "The Firm," "The Pelican Brief," and "The Runaway Jury."

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)