Syracuse, NY — A Syracuse man spending the remainder of his life in state jail for the homicide of two co-workers on the DeWitt Chili’s restaurant in 2018 pleaded responsible once more Monday in federal courtroom to a different anticipated life sentence.
William Wooden’s plea could become a formality, assuming his unique life with out parole sentence stands. However within the unlikely occasion his state conviction will get overturned, or the state implements automated parole hearings for older inmates, he’d nonetheless be held on the federal sentence.
Wooden shot to demise Chili’s staff Kris Hicks, 29, and co-worker Stephen Gudknecht, 37, whereas making an attempt to take money from the Erie Boulevard East restaurant the evening of Sept. 15, 2018. He would have killed two others workers, but his gun jammed.
The federal prosecution misplaced most of its impression in June, when U.S. Lawyer Basic Merrick Garland determined towards pursuing the demise penalty towards Wooden, altering course from his predecessors beneath the Trump administration.
With out the specter of capital punishment, Wooden’s federal prosecution amounted to insurance coverage within the occasion of his freedom from state jail. Federal U.S. Public Defender Lisa Peebles has called moving forward with the federal case a waste of time and money.
On Monday, Wooden pleaded responsible to firearm fees that carry potential life sentences and theft fees that carry 20-year jail sentences. Senior U.S. District Decide Thomas McAvoy will determine Wooden’s official sentence on Dec. 29, 2021.
“Wooden will serve his state sentence first, and if ever launched by New York State, he can be surrendered to federal custody to serve any undischarged portion of his federal time period of imprisonment,” the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace in Syracuse mentioned in a information launch.
Employees author Douglass Dowty may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-470-6070.