- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week reinstated the death sentence of a man who killed a church deacon as a teen and later said the victim had sexually abused him.

A Philadelphia judge tossed out Terrance “Terry” Williams’ death sentence days before a 2012 execution date after concluding that prosecutors hid evidence the victim was molesting boys.

However, the Supreme Court ruling Monday said Williams had that information and perjured himself when he claimed not to know 56-year-old deacon Amos Norwood and that he wasn’t involved in the slaying.

“He could have argued Norwood’s homosexual proclivities developed into sexual abuse, leading to rage and ultimate murder of Norwood,” Justice J. Michael Eakin wrote in Monday’s opinion.

Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina granted Williams a new sentencing hearing in 2012. After hearing new evidence, she found that prosecutors had also failed to disclose a deal made with a co-defendant involved in the slaying.

Trial prosecutor Andrea Foulkes, now a federal prosecutor in Philadelphia, said Wednesday that she felt “professionally and personally vindicated by the PA Supreme Court decision.”

Williams, an 18-year-old high school quarterback from a troubled family, was secretly having sex with older men in exchange for money, clothes and gifts. He had killed another man five months earlier, when he was 17, in a gruesome, clearly sexual slaying.

Williams in recent appeals has said he had been abused since age 13 by Norwood, who often worked with disadvantaged boys.

Federal public defender Shawn Nolan said the defense is disappointed but is considering several avenues for further appeals.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams praised the Supreme Court decision, calling Williams “a vicious double murderer.”


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