People in the small town of Hallsville, Texas have always suspected that 49 year old George Williams shot Janie Sherwood more than 11 years ago. Finally on Wednesday, a 9 woman 5 man jury convicted him for her murder, and sentenced him to life in prison. " They looked to him as being a suspect, and as more information developed he became a more viable suspect over time."
Harrison County District Attorney Joe Black says a big reason for the delay, the case changed many hands, before being taken over by the Texas Rangers Cold Case Squad. "Over time things got stale, things didn't develop, then in 2001, the investigator working the case was killed by a mentally ill patient."
Back on April 23, 1996, Williams claims two men forced their way into the home, stabbed him in the stomach, causing him to hit his head, knocking him unconscious. When he woke up, he says he found Janie Sherwood dead, with two gunshots to the head. It's a scene black says doesn't add up. " The only viable alternative had to be somebody inside with her that could have caused the injuries, because there's no evidence outside the home that shows anybody else could have committed the crime."
Neighbors living near the scene were emotional when they heard Williams had been convicted. " Janie loved dogs, she loved horses she loved cats, she was a beautiful, hard working, very hard working."
And even though it did take eleven years, to solve, black says this could serve as hope for other families going through the same situation. "You can't ever give up on a case, even though you may not have anything to go on, you never know in the future what leads may develop."