Rolling Out

Wrongfully convicted man was set free, and then became a crime victim

Christopher Williams was imprisoned for nearly 3 decades
crime scene tape
Photo credit: / Bjoern Wylezich

On Dec. 22, authorities said a wrongfully convicted Philadelphia man who spent 25 years on death row was fatally shot while attending a funeral service.

Christopher Williams, 62, was shot in the head as he got out of a car at Mount Peace Cemetery for the funeral of Tyree Little. He was rushed to Temple University where he was pronounced dead less than half an hour later.

Williams had been convicted in two separate cases, which involved a triple murder in 1989 and the killing of Michael Haynesworth, who was killed that same year.

Williams and co-defendant Troy Coulston were convicted of the Haynesworth murder in 1992 and were convicted of the triple murder the following year.

Philadelphia prosecutors moved to dismiss the murder convictions against Williams decades later after finding there was tainted testimony and exculpatory evidence that police discovered but never shared with defense lawyers.

Since his release in February 2021, Williams was working as a carpenter with the hope of starting his own construction business that would give freed convicts a chance to be employed.

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