GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) – South Carolina’s attorney general’s office said the U.S. Supreme Court denied their request to appeal lower courts’ decision to throw out the death sentence that had been previously issued to Charles Christopher Williams.
Robert Kittle, a spokesman for the SCAG office, said the Supreme Court of the United States on Monday denied Attorney General Alan Wilson’s petition to review the decisions by the US District Court and the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that granted Williams a new sentencing proceeding.
“The US District Court threw out his death sentence, we appealed that to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which agreed with the US District Court, and then when we asked the US Supreme Court to hear our petition they denied our request, so Williams will go back for sentencing,” Kittle stated in an e-mail.
According to federal court documents, Williams entered a Greenville grocery store on September 3, 2003, where his former girlfriend, Maranda Williams, worked. He confronted her, then forced her into a store office, and held her hostage at gunpoint. She eventually attempted to escape, but Williams shot her four times, killing her.
Kittle said Williams was convicted and sentenced to the death for murder, kidnapping, and a weapons offense in his 2005 trial.
However, the US District Court ruled in a post-conviction relief action that Williams’ attorneys were professionally deficient in their representation, especially in preparation for the sentencing phase.
“We disagreed with that conclusion and we appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court to uphold the sentence,” Kittle stated.
Williams is currently being held in the Greenville County Detention Center awaiting a new trial date.
The solicitor’s office said a new trial date has not been set.
Kittle said Williams could be once again sentenced to death, but he could also receive a lesser sentence of anything from 30 years in prison to life in prison without parole.