Man sentenced to life in prison without parole for double murder at DeWitt Chili’s

State News
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) William Wood Jr., the man who opened fire inside a DeWitt Chili’s, killing Stephen Gudknecht and Kristopher Hicks, has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Back in September, Wood robbed the Chili’s on Erie Boulevard, shooting two men in the head. 

Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick says Wood planned to shoot more people, but his gun jammed.

Wood had previously worked at that Chili’s restaurant and knew all the victims by name. 

He pleaded guilty to a 10-count indictment on charges including first- and second-degree murder and robbery. 

At the State level, Wood has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

The death penalty is not allowed in New York State and can not be set as a sentence by county or state judges.

However,  U.S. Attorney General William Barr has authorized a Notice of Intent to Pursue the Death Penalty. 

The last time the death penalty was last considered in New York was for the case of David Renz in 2013, who was convicted of murdering a Liverpool school librarian and raping a 10-year-old girl after abducting them in the parking lot of Great Northern Mall. 

“I truly am sorry for what I’ve done, whether people believe that or not. If I could take it back in a heartbeat, I would,” Wood said. 

Four others have been charged in connection to the double homicide.

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