HARRISBURG – A condemned Pennsylvania inmate who says the man he was convicted of murdering molested him is awaiting word on whether the state’s high court will rule he should be executed by midnight in Centre County.
Defense lawyers for a 46-year-old Terrance “Terry” Williams say the state Supreme Court shouldn’t decide “on the fly” whether he lives or dies by Wednesday’s deadline.
If the execution order is reinstated, Williams will die from lethal injection tonight at 7 p.m. at the State Correctional Institution in Rockview.
A jury in 1986 found Williams guilty of brutally beating Amos Norwood to death with a tire iron in 1984. A state judge believes prosecutors hid evidence at Williams’ murder trial, and last week stayed the execution. The judge also granted Williams a new sentencing hearing.
Williams says the church deacon he beat to death had been sexually abusing him.
Philadelphia’s district attorney has appealed the stay, and wants Williams executed before his death warrant expires today.
Williams’ lawyers, in a filing Wednesday morning, say prosecutors never appealed the new sentencing hearing. They further said Williams can’t be executed without a valid death sentence, and they’re prepared to file an 11th-hour plea to the U.S. Supreme Court if the state prepares to execute him.
If the sentence is restored, Williams would be the first person executed involuntarily in Pennsylvania since 1962. Only three convicts have been executed in the state since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, and there are currently more than 200 people on death row in Pennsylvania.
6 News’ Bill Wadell is following this developing story. Stay with 6 News, WJACTV.com and WJACTV.com Mobile for continuing coverage.