A man who killed two Alton teens when he was just 15 years old was sentenced again to life in prison for the crimes. Terril Williams was sentenced Tuesday in Madison County Court to two concurrent natural life sentences for the deaths of 17-year-old James Patterson and 15 year old Darryl Womack in January 1997.
Williams was sentenced to life in prison during the original trial, but a U.S. Supreme Court Case in 2012 opened the door for a new sentencing hearing. In the case, the high court ruled that mandatory natural life without parole violated the 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment because the defendant was a juvenile at the time of the conviction. Williams then appealed his original sentence and the Illinois Fifth District Appellate Court ruled in December of last year that a new sentencing hearing should take place in Madison County Circuit Court. Associate Judge Neil Schroeder handed down the life sentences yesterday. In court, it was proven that Williams shot and killed Patterson and Womack at the Belle Manor apartments. Both of the teens were unarmed at the time.