WJAC-TV: PA Top Court Halts Execution of Death-row Inmate in Centre Co.
The state Supreme Court has asked for more briefings in the case of Terrance “Terry” Williams, of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Judge Teresa Sarmina ruled late last week that prosecutors withheld evidence at Williams’ 1986 trial, including evidence that a victim was molesting boys. She tossed out Williams’ death sentence but upheld his first-degree murder conviction.
Williams has been on death row for nearly three decades. He says both of his victims had been sexually abusing him.
Williams, 46, would have been the first person executed in Pennsylvania in 50 years who had not given up his appeals.
He remains on death row at a state prison in Greene County, where his lawyers spoke with him by phone after the high court ruling Wednesday afternoon.
Williams’ attorneys said he is relieved to learn his appeals will continue. Lawyer Shawn Nolan says Williams was never moved to the State Correctional Institution in Rockview, where he would have been executed by lethal injection.
Williams’ death warrant expires at midnight and the court will instead hear appeals of a judge’s finding that prosecutors hid evidence in Williams’ murder trial.
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