Man who killed state Rep. William Telek in 1988 resentenced to life in prison

Bernard Williams

DAUPHIN COUNTY — Bernard Williams was 17 years old when he killed state Rep. William Telek in 1988.

That year, the teenager was sentenced to life in prison for the first-degree murder of the Cambria County representative.

On Tuesday, Williams, now 47, was given a chance for the original sentence to be re-evaluated because of a Supreme Court ruling that deemed mandatory life sentences for juveniles cruel and unusual punishment.

After hearing testimony from a forensic psychiatrist and two of Rep. Telek’s daughters — plus a submitted statement from the widow of Rep. Telek — Judge Jeannine Turgeon resentenced Williams, who appeared at the hearing by video, to one term of life imprisonment, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office.

Dr. John S. O’Brien, the forensic psychiatrist, concluded that Williams is “permanently incorrigible” and shows “irretrievable depravity,” the DA’s Office said. Since the murder of Rep. Telek, Williams pleaded guilty to assaulting correctional officers in 1993 and 1999. He also entered a guilty plea for the stabbing of an inmate in 1995, the DA’s Office added.

Williams must also serve one to two years for the 1993 simple assault, eight to 16 years for the 1999 aggravated assault and 10 to 20 years for the robbery which was committed at the same time of the murder, the DA’s Office noted.