MO Juvenile Lifer Passes Up Freedom to Clear Name


Anthony Williams, who was sentenced in Missouri to life without parole as a juvenile, had a chance to be freed last week after 20 years behind bars, his supporters say. He chose to stay in prison, in order to fight for his name, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Cole County Judge Daniel Richard Green last week overturned Williams’ 1995 first-degree murder conviction, citing evidence withheld by prosecutors. That gave St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce 15 days to decide whether to retry him.

Williams' supporters say Joyce has since offered a deal: have a second-degree murder conviction entered, but be released on time served. Williams refused, continuing to assert his innocence. “He said he wouldn't do it,” said his father, Ronald Williams. “He said, 'I'm gonna stay here until justice is served.'” The father was outside the Carnahan Courthouse on Thursday morning with other supporters, urging Joyce to decline charges. Anthony Williams was 14 when he was certified to stand trial as an adult in the 1993 shooting death of Cortez Andrews, also 14, during a fight outside a teen dance.

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