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Man who killed police informant will serve life after ‘eyewitness’ appeal denied

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Yaquan Williams

LANCASTER, Pa. – A Lancaster man serving life in prison for killing a police informant won’t be getting a new trial.  Yaquan “Squeeze” Williams had appealed that he should be re-tried for the January 2009 killing of Mary Johnson because his attorney didn’t call an eyewitness who could’ve vindicated him.

Williams, now 35, also argued on appeal that his trial lawyer was ineffective because he failed to ask certain questions and make objections.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently ruled those arguments had no merit.

A Lancaster County convicted Williams in 2010 of first-degree murder for Johnson’s killing. Williams apparently had become aware Johnson was an informant and shot her several times in the back on a city street.

Johnson, mortally wounded on the ground, identified Williams as her killer to emergency-responders. Williams’ trial attorney, at a prior hearing, called that the key evidence in the case.

Also previously, attorneys for both sides testified that the potential eyewitness, Williams refers to on appeal, was shaky and wouldn’t have added anything of substance.

The Superior Court, in a 5-page opinion, leans on Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker’s “well-reasoned” decision to deny Williams’ appeal earlier this year. After that, Williams appealed to the higher court.