PHILADELPHIA – Christopher Williams, a wrongly convicted man who spent 25 years on death row, was shot and killed while attending a funeral service Friday afternoon. His death comes less than two years after being exonerated of multiple homicides, according to reports.
Williams, 62, was driving as part of a funeral procession for Tyree Little in North Philadelphia when he was shot in the head. The father of six children previously spent 25 years on death row before he was exonerated of four murders and released in February 2021, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The former death row inmate sustained a fatal gunshot wound to the head as he got out of his car at Mount Peace Cemetery near the 3000 block of Lehigh Avenue Friday around 2:20 p.m. Following the shooting he was transported to Temple University Hospital, but did not survive. He was pronounced dead about 30 minutes after arrival.
Williams was not only exonerated of four murders, he was also acquitted of two other homicides. All of the cases against him reportedly involved the same jailhouse informant. He and co-defendant Theophalis Wilson had been convicted of the 1989 murders. However, the convictions were based on false testimony and evidence had been suppressed, the New York Post reported.
Christopher Williams was killed while attending a funeral service for another formerly incarcerated man. (Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office)
“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 told The Philadelphia Inquirer upon his release.
No arrests have yet been made in connection to Williams’ murder. He has a lawsuit against the city that remains pending.