William Woodard sentenced to life in prison - New York News

William Woodard sentenced to life in prison

Posted: Updated:
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -

A DeKalb County jury sentenced a man convicted of killing two police officers to life in prison without parole on Friday.

William Woodard, 31, was convicted last week in the murders of Eric Barker and Ricky Bryant Jr. Woodard claimed he shot them in self-defense after the officers confronted him at an apartment complex where they were working off-duty security jobs in 2008.

During closing arguments of Thursday, prosecutors urged the jury to give Woodard the death sentence for killing the two officers. As prosecutor Don Geary spoke of the two slain officers, he told jurors that Woodard brutally murdered the officers, and that Woodard had bragged of "holding court in the street," because as a convicted felon, he did not want return to jail.

Defense attorneys asked jurors for mercy, pointed to Woodard's background of neglect, abuse and exposure to violence.

The jurors had to decide whether to give Woodard life imprisonment, life in prison without parole, or sentence him to death. They began their deliberations on Thursday afternoon. It took about 7.5 hours to reach a decision.

Woodard showed no emotion or reaction as the sentencing was read on Friday afternoon.

Grieving family members of the slain officers said they were not surprised by the jury's decision.

"I have mixed emotions right now. I'm angry. I'm sad. Right now, I just feel like my children were cheated. He gets to get up tomorrow – breath, touch and feel. My kids' father will never get to do that again," said Yolanda Barker, Eric Barker's widow.

"Now this man will get to suffer and that's what I think he deserves, like our family has been suffering. I know that death would be too final. I need for him to go through some things, because we are still suffering," said Hilda Barker, the victim's mother.

Woodard's defense attorney Dwight Thomas said it was a tough case.

"The jury has decided that the appropriate punishment in this case is for Mr. Woodard to remain in prison for the rest of his natural life. That is not going to be a cakewalk. That is not going to be easy. He's going to have any good days," said Thomas.

Prosecutors said that the lack of emotion shown by Woodard during the trial shows that prison is the right place for him.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Palestinian banner unfurled on Manhattan Bridge

    Palestinian banner unfurled on Manhattan Bridge

    Thursday, August 21 2014 7:14 AM EDT2014-08-21 11:14:27 GMT
    Pro-Palestinian activists marching along the Brooklyn Bridge got an eyeful when a giant flag banner in Palestinian colors was unfurled on the nearby Manhattan Bridge. The flag had the words "Boycott, Divest, Sanction" and was lowered from a part of the bridge near the Manhattan side Wednesday evening. Activists on the Brooklyn Bridge met its appearance with cheers.
    Pro-Palestinian activists marching along the Brooklyn Bridge got an eyeful when a giant flag banner in Palestinian colors was unfurled on the nearby Manhattan Bridge. The flag had the words "Boycott, Divest, Sanction" and was lowered from a part of the bridge near the Manhattan side Wednesday evening. Activists on the Brooklyn Bridge met its appearance with cheers.
  • Man punched in face in knockout assault

    Man punched in face in knockout assault

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:55 AM EDT2014-08-21 10:55:16 GMT
    The so-called 'knockout game' where a person punches another unsuspecting person has made its way to Hackensack, New Jersey. Police say one assailant attacked three people all in the same day. Surveillance video shows the athletically built suspect punch a man in the face and stroll away. The man fell to the ground. Two other assaults took place within less than 15 minutes in the areas of Essex Street, Summit Avenue and Beech Street on Monday night.
    The so-called 'knockout game' where a person punches another unsuspecting person has made its way to Hackensack, New Jersey. Police say one assailant attacked three people all in the same day. Surveillance video shows the athletically built suspect punch a man in the face and stroll away. The man fell to the ground. Two other assaults took place within less than 15 minutes in the areas of Essex Street, Summit Avenue and Beech Street on Monday night.
  • Atlantic City police get body cameras

    Atlantic City police get body cameras

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:36 AM EDT2014-08-21 10:36:31 GMT
    Atlantic City police officers have started wearing body cameras. About five officers a shift will be equipped with the devices, which record video and audio after an officer activates the device. The video is uploaded after the officer's shift ends.
    Atlantic City police officers have started wearing body cameras. About five officers a shift will be equipped with the devices, which record video and audio after an officer activates the device. The video is uploaded after the officer's shift ends.

Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices