Prison inmate seeks to undo legal challenge

April 03, 2009|By Tyeesha Dixon | Tyeesha Dixon,

An Anne Arundel County man serving a prison sentence for murder is seeking to undo the results of a legal challenge that backfired.

A lawyer for Tyrone Craig Williams, who was sentenced last year to 40 years in prison, had asked a three-judge panel to review that decision. But the panel, rather than reducing the sentence, determined that another 20 years were in order.

Williams' new lawyer says the order for a new sentence should be voided because the convicted murderer never signed the petition for a three-judge panel review.

Although judges in post-conviction sentencing proceedings can cut but not increase jail time, three-judge panels can do either.

Prosecutor Michael Dunty argued Thursday that although Williams did not sign the petition, he was fully aware of what a three-judge panel entailed and never objected to the proceedings, even as the state contended that Williams' sentence should be raised.

The panel judges did not rule Thursday on defense attorney William Davis' motion, saying they needed time to review records.

Williams, 40, of Glen Burnie, was sentenced to life in prison with all but 35 years suspended for his first-degree murder conviction in the 2007 shooting death of Cole J. Collins, 24, at an Annapolis apartment complex. Williams also received five years for a related handgun charge, but in January the three-judge panel ordered that sentence raised to 20 years, saying the original five-year term for another handgun violation should be served consecutively and not concurrently.

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