Man convicted of murder at 16, takes plea for freedom

Man convicted of murder at 16, takes plea for freedom
(Source: KSLA News 12)

CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - A man convicted of murder two decades ago will soon be a free man.

Corey Williams was 16 when he was arrested in the January 1998 slaying of pizza delivery man Jarvis Griffin in Shreveport's Queensborough neighborhood.

Williams agreed to waive all appeals and potential claims of civil liability in exchange for the plea. The plea also puts an end to Williams' efforts to get the US Supreme Court to reverse his conviction.

"Questions later arose about his case, as well as some legal issues, but today it was all resolved by a plea agreement," said Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Owen Williams, Appellate Section Chief with the Caddo Parish District Attorney's office. "His first-degree murder conviction and sentence were vacated and he pled guilty to manslaughter."

Willams was sentenced to death. However, he was determined to be mentally disabled.

In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mentally disabled individuals cannot be executed, Williams' death sentence was changed to life without parole. He was then sentenced to 20 years hard labor with credit for time served, according to the Caddo Parish District Attorney's office.

He pled guilty to one count obstruction of justice and was sentenced to seven years hard labor, suspended, with three years supervised probation to run consecutively to the manslaughter conviction.

The agreement was approved by Caddo Parish District Judge Katherine Dorroh.

Copyright 2018 KSLA. All rights reserved.