Father-Of-Six, Freed After 25 Years On Death Row, Shot Dead At Funeral

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A Philadelphia man who spent 25 years on the city’s death row list was shot dead at a funeral on Friday (December 16).

According to theGrio, father-of-six Christopher Williams was fatally shot in the head as he stepped out of his vehicle to attend a funeral for another former prisoner.

Williams was released from prison in February 2021 after being exonerated of four murders and acquitted of two others, which he previously noted was a historic feat for the city.

“Never in the history of the Pennsylvania judicial system has someone been charged with six murders, acquitted of two, and now exonerated of four,” Williams said at the time of his release, per The Inquirer.

The fatal incident has prompted concern among other incarcerated individuals, including Theophalis “Bilal” Wilson, a codefendant of Williams who spent 28 years behind bars in connection to a triple murder. Wilson was also exonerated, according to theGrio.

“Although we’re actually innocent, not everyone believes it,” Wilson said. “I spent 28 years in jail for knowing him. I have to be on guard.”

A lawsuit filed by Williams against the city, District Attorney Lynne Abraham, trial prosecutor David Desiderio and 17 police detectives is still pending. Philadelphia police are also still searching for suspects in Williams' shooting.

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