• New sentence possible for man convicted of killing two brothers

    By: Mark Becker

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Charlotte man facing life in prison without parole for two murders is getting a second chance at a new sentence and the mother of his two victims is outraged.
     
    Montrez Williams was convicted in 2011 on two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of brothers Josh Davis, 17, and Terry Long, 18, in June 2008.
     
    Williams, who was 17 at the time of the murders, was automatically sentenced under state law to life without parole.
     
    But a court ruling in two cases—one in Alabama and another in Arkansas—said that anyone under 18 cannot be sentenced to life without parole without having a hearing first. 
     
    Williams’ new sentencing hearing is set for April 20, and Andrea Long is incensed.
     
    “Yeah this will be too much for me ... I've been through this one time,” Long said.  
     
    She sat through Williams’ emotional trial in 2011and said it will be difficult to do so again. She cannot understand why his age is a factor.
     
    “He was 45 days from 18. So I want a psychologist to tell me why in 45 days he would have been a person in his right mind,” Long said.
     
    But Brad Smith, who has handled cases like Williams’ as a defense attorney, said someone’s age—particularly a teenager’s—can be an important factor in determining behavior.
     
    “I think maturity is an important consideration,” Smith said. “If we think we're the same people we were when we were 17 that we are when we're 37 or 35 we're kidding ourselves.”

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