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Life sentence for convicted teenage killer

Lawton_In Comanche County District Court, a sentence of life in prison was handed down to 18-year-old convicted murderer Timie Williams on Monday.  However, there is a chance that Williams could be back on the streets in only 18 months.  Williams is a minor, so his sentence will be served in juvenile detention until he is 20, when he will then be transferred to the adult system.  If he is successful in his rehabilitation by 20 years of age, his sentence could be considered complete.

According to Williams' pre-sentencing psychological report, the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs reports that Williams cannot be rehabilitated because he continues to refuse to admit guilt.  While the report states that Williams indeed understands the difference between right and wrong, prosecution Attorney Randy Worthen says that Williams has a "primitive sense of moral judgment," making him a danger to society. 

Williams' mother continues to maintain his innocence, and spoke with 7News about his crime and sentence following the sentence.  "It don't make no sense," said Debra Williams.  "A lot of things just don't add up, and it just don't make no sense that a 16-year-old child went down for it.  It's sad.  It's sad because ain't nobody trying to get down to it...all they know is they got a black man down for killing somebody."

Williams was convicted of first-degree murder in May, and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.  When his sentence was read, Williams remained emotionless, while a woman in his family wept.  His mother says that she is disappointed in the sentence.  "You don't need a rocket scientist to see my child didn't do it," she said.  "I wouldn't uphold my child if he was wrong.  If he was wrong, I'd just have to take what they give him.  But I will fight for my child for the rest- if it takes all my life, I'm going to fight for my child, because I know my child didn't do it."

Defense Attorney Jim Berry would like for Williams' rehabilitation to be completed within the next 18 months, prior to his transfer to an adult prison.  "The problem we have in this case is he was convicted of murder in the first degree," said Berry.  "He's going to be 19 in December, and the court can only retain jurisdiction to the outside of 20.  So, we're dealing with a real short time for rehabilitation."

If Williams' rehabilitation is successful, his sentence could be considered complete, but it's not enough for Berry who says he wants him out sooner.  "We intend to appeal the case and let the court of criminal appeals handle it...see what they do." 

If Williams is transferred to the adult system, at age 20 he would continue to serve his life sentence there, with the option of early release on parole.  The Office of Juvenile Affairs will return its rehabilitation plan by August 28, after which Williams will have until November to make progress before an "age-out hearing" to consider his transfer to an adult facility.

Count on 7News to keep you updated.

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