Mobile County

Freed death row inmate from Mobile Co. arrested on theft warrant

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG/CBS) - A former death row inmate from Mobile County is back behind bars after deputies arrested him on a theft warrant. 

43-year-old William Ziegler was arrested by Mobile County Sheriff's deputies Wednesday, July 11 in Baldwin County, according to court documents. He is accused of stealing a 1967 Chevy Camaro and a warrant was placed for his arrest, charging him with theft of property 1st-degree. 

In 2015, Ziegler was released from death row after he agreed to plead guilty to aiding and abetting in the slaying of Russell Allen Baker, and a Mobile County judge gave him credit for the more than 15 years he already had served in prison.

Ziegler was convicted of capital murder in 2001 and sentenced to die for Baker's killing.

Circuit Judge Sarah Stewart overturned Ziegler's conviction in 2012, indicating there were numerous errors and serious doubts about his guilt.

Baker's body was found in a wooded area in Mobile County in 2000. Authorities said Ziegler had quarreled at a party, and Ziegler was convicted along with three accomplices.

But a key witness who claimed Ziegler had threatened Baker later recanted, helping lead to Stewart's decision to overturn the case.

With his plea, Ziegler acknowledged that his conduct helped lead to Baker's death.

Ziegler is expected to be in court on the theft charge Friday morning. 


Mobile County

Baldwin County

Northwest Florida