Days Before Oct. 3rd Execution Date, Judge Considers New Evidence In Death Row Case
By Jericka Duncan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After hearing closing arguments on Tuesday, Judge Teresa Sarmina says on Friday morning she will make her final ruling on whether to rule a stay of execution for Terrance Williams, a man sentenced to death in the 1986 murder of 56-year-old Amos Norwood of Mt. Airy. Williams is scheduled to be executed on October 3rd.
During the trial in 1986, the prosecutor said the crime was motivated by robbery. But Williams’ attorneys, who have been trying to appeal his death sentence since the 90s, say evidence was suppressed by the prosecution. The defense also claims the motivation for the murder had to do with a sexual relationship between Norwood and Williams, who was 18-years-old at the time.
“They’re trying to have Terry executed when they have continually hid evidence in this case, that certainly would have changed the verdict,” said attorney Shawn Nolan.
Defense attorneys for the death row inmate said in their closing argument the 1986 jury “voted for death on the basis of misinformation.”
The defense maintains the prosecutor at the time, Andrea Foulkes, was wrong by saying robbery was the motivation for murder.
Williams has yet to go on record with his allegations of sexual abuse from Norwood.
The current prosecutors dismissed claims in their closing argument, that evidence was suppressed. Although, the defense says it obtained new documents from the prosecution that allege Norwood was investigated by a reverend at his church for touching a 17-year-old male inappropriately, the defense says that information lends questions to the way Norwood was portrayed in the 1986 trial in which Foulkes depicted Norwood as a kind man who was simply giving Williams and his friend a ride home, the night he was murdered.
“The new pieces of paper are not nearly as clear as the evidence the defendant had in his position before the trial”, said prosecutor Ronald Eisenberg.