Grant Williams, a former affiliate and studio worker for the Wu-Tang Clan, will get paid $7 million from New York City after spending 23 years in prison for a murder he was wrongfully convicted of, according to the Associated Press.
A little under a year ago in July, Williams was exonerated in the fatal shooting of Shdell Lewis in 1996 outside of a public housing complex in Staten Island.
In 2019, Williams made parole and then two years later he was cleared entirely. After being cleared he filed a notice of claim, one of the initial steps you must take in order to sue the city, according to the Associated Press.
From the Associated Press:
The case against Williams had rested largely on the testimony of a couple of eyewitnesses. One was a police officer who chased the gunman — and initially gave a description that didn’t match Williams.
Prosecutors at his trial also sought to suggest a connection between Williams and a baseball cap that the shooter dropped at the scene, though the hat was never tested for DNA that could have pointed to its wearer. It was emblazoned with the logo of the Wu-Tang Clan. Williams had worked at the multi-platinum-selling rap group’s Staten Island studio, but his lawyer notes that there was no telling how many hometown fans might have had Wu-Tang Clan hats at the time.
No physical, forensic or digital evidence tied Williams to the crime, and some witnesses testified that he wasn’t the gunman.
Another eyewitness, a friend of the victim’s, had also told investigators that Williams wasn’t the gunman. But police didn’t tell prosecutors about it until after he was indicted, and that witness didn’t testify at the trial.
For years, Williams attempted to have his conviction appealed, but was unsuccessful until Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon agreed to review it. Prosecutors, later on, believed that Williams was innocent and joined McMahon in seeking the dismissal of his conviction, according to the Associated Press.