Junior Downs to be executed

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July 13, 2006

William "Junior" Downs confessed to raping and killing two little boys, and Friday, July 14, two mothers will know for sure that he'll never do it again.

It's the day the two families have been waiting for.

Junior Downs is scheduled to be put to death at 6 p.m. for the 1999 murder of 6 year old Keenan O'Mailia.

But Keenan wasn't his only victim.

For eight and a half years, Downs got away with murder.

While there are no more questions, there is still disbelief in the brutality of his crimes.

On April 17, 1999, Riverview Park was turned upside down as more than 100 volunteers searched for 6-year old Keenan O'Mailia. Lt. Joe Count, the lead investigator in Keenan's murder, revisited the site on the eve of Downs' execution.

"It's a little strange to be back. It kind of takes you back in time a little bit," he said.

After finding his body 18 hours later, officers knew immediately it was a homicide and sexual assault.

A tip would later lead him to William "Junior" Downs in Houston County.

Downs admitted to raping and strangling Keenan.

But the North Augusta boy wasn't his only victim. Downs also admitted to killing another boy eight years prior: 10-year-old James Porter of Augusta.

"He said when he knocked him out, he had sex with him, said James started coming around and he strangled him a second time which is what killed him. Said then he had sex with him a second time and just pushed his body over in the river and left it," says James' mom, Kathy Favors.

While Downs was never convicted in the murder of Kathy's son, she finds comfort in knowing that he will soon be put to death and will never hurt another boy again.

District attorney Danny Craig, solicitor Barbara Morgan, Lt. Joe Count and James Porter's mother Kathy will be there as witnesses.