Death Penalty

Penn. Judge Grants Stay in Death Penalty Case

Authorities apparently suppressed important allegations of sexual abuse


Philadelphia Judge M. Teresa Sarmina ruled Friday to stay the execution of Terrance Williams and grant a new penalty phase in the case, after finding that authorities had suppressed evidence of alleged sexual abuse.

Williams, 46, had been scheduled to be executed on October 3 for a 1984 slaying in which he beat Amos Norwood to death with a tire iron.

Sarmina found "reasonable probability" that the verdict might have been different had allegations of abuse surfaced during the initial case, noting that the relationship between the two men had been established but not disclosed.