Juror Speaks Out After Inmate Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murdering Federal Corrections Officer

SCRANTON -- Life in prison without parole.

That sentence was handed down to the inmate convicted of killing a corrections officer at the federal prison in Wayne County.

A jury could not decide on the death penalty for Jessie Con-ui, so he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The killer was already serving a life sentence when he murdered Officer Eric Williams.

“It leaves me shocked. It leaves me angry,” said Don Williams, the father of Eric.

Family and friends of slain Federal Corrections Officer Eric Williams were clearly devastated that a jury failed to sentence their son's killer to death.

Con-ui was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury couldn't reach a verdict after deliberating for five hours at the Federal Courthouse in Scranton.

“This man was already doing life. He committed a hideous murder on my son, and they gave him life again. You know what they did to him for doing what he did to my boy?” said Don Williams. “They did nothing. They did absolutely nothing.”

Con-ui was convicted of the brutal killing of Williams who worked as a corrections officer at the federal prison in Wayne County where Con-ui had already been serving a life sentence.

Standing with Williams' family was Williams' friend and co-worker Darrell Palmer.

Palmer represents the union that serves corrections officers.

“This is how we treat our law enforcement officers?” said Palmer. “[Eric] was working, as Mr. Williams said. He was already doing life. He murdered his son. He murdered a federal officer, and nothing was done.”

Newswatch 16 spoke to one juror.

Amy Wiedlich of Wilkes-Barre says 11 of the 12 jurors wanted him to get the death the penalty.

“I want the Williams family to know that 11 of us strongly felt that the death penalty was warranted and that for a month and a half, we thought about their son. We thought about the viciousness of this crime, and it weighed very heavily on us,” said Wiedlich.

Defense attorneys declined to talk to Newswatch 16. The prosecution said a statement would be issued from its office on Tuesday.

50 comments

  • Sam I Am

    Seems to me that inmates must have another perk,
    THE INTERNET

    just look at all the thumbs down and agreasion against corrections officers.

  • Lance

    For the lone juror I want him or her to get a conscience. You knew this was a death penalty case you could have excused yourself on whatever grounds that prevent you for deciding on the death penalty. What a complete and utter fool!

    • Karen

      Apparently this juror has a son who is in prison. Not sure how this was overlooked. Waiting for it to come out in the news.

    • Big E

      Pay, benefits. Feds can transfer to any fed job, any fed facility. County is paid by the county and transfers are minimal to only the location.

  • Kelli

    then why did the 11 give in?? he deserved DEATH!! he tortured and brutally murdered a CO… what is wrong with people?? the judge should step in and over ride this decision or get a jury with a conscious!

      • Canyon

        The idiots are those who bleed at the thought of reality to make theses people pay! Grow a pair folks and show a little respect for our society and the dead!

    • Charlotte Hoisington

      ACTUALLY, they aren’t guards at all. They are Correctional Officers. Their jobs are to be present with the accused and convicted felons 24 hours a day. Their jobs are more dangerous and hands on than any other form of law enforcement. Correctional Officers carry no weapons during their shifts, as those weapons could be taken by an inmate and used against them in a harmful or deadly manner. Theirs is a profession that goes highly unrecognized or respected. They keep society safe every day by keeping the accused and convicted safely behind the bars and walls of Institutions. Be it Federal, State, County, Military or any other position holding the undesirable elements in seclusion from the walks of society, like them or not, they should all be praised for the job that they do. I thank them wholeheartedly for the peace of mind that I and my family can feel knowing that we are safe.

    • Big E

      The 11 didn’t give in. Death sentencing must have all 12 for. Just 1 person against, then it’s a total wash & must be a life sentence via Judge.

  • TOMTOM

    Reminds me when Brian was the lone holdout at Mayor West’s trial. Good for the one juror. Great Job.

  • Mad Dog

    Probably some lefty liberal hippie. This is the problem with juries …. it should be majority rules. It’s insane that one idiot, who lets their beliefs contradict justice can impact the decision. Now this scumbag gets thrown back into the system where he will join another prison gang, get respected, and possibly do this again. Cannot stress how ridiculous our legal system has become. Hopefully someone takes this thug out.

  • troutlover

    Please post a picture, name and address of the idiot who denied the Williams family their true justice for their son! Perhaps we can make her life a living Hell like she did to this family!!

    • Lawlessness abounds in NEPA

      How about NO, fish-fu**ker?

      If you want mob justice so badly then grab your torches and pitchforks and head on down to the jail. Put that murderer out of your misery yourself, coward. You’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, are you?

  • El Ma

    Okay. According to this article, the jury deliberated for 5 hours about the penalty. What did they do during that 5 hour time-period?” I cannot imagine WHAT the stand-alone juror was thinking to not agree that a person who is already serving a Life sentence who murders an authority figure should just go ahead and spend………..another life(???) in prison instead of being sentenced to death. I really cannot fathom this line of thinking, particularly when the State of PA has not executed anyone on death row in almost 20 years.

    What this juror did was to send the message, “Yeah, there are absolutely NO consequences for murder.”

    Good job. Sleep well. And, pray that you or someone you care about isn’t taken from you by someone who should have been taken out of society, permanently, and wasn’t simply because someone could not accept the fact that some people out there are born killers. Sleep well.

    • Wizard of Oz

      I have no doubt that you “cannot imagine WHAT the stand-alone juror was thinking.” That would require a brain, which you clearly do not possess. Bless your little heart, though. I’m sure you mean well but you really need to think about the future instead of reacting purely on emotion.

  • Think about it...

    Which message do we want to send?

    If you’re already serving a life sentence for murder, you can even kill a corrections officer and essentially get away with it.

    Or:

    If you’re already serving a life sentence for murder and want the state to end your miserable existence, all you have to do is kill a corrections officer.

    • Judy

      What a death sentence in this case says is, “The Regular Joe you murdered only got you life in prison but killing someone in uniform will get you lethal injection.” I’ve got mixed feelings about sending a message that suggests law enforcement is better than everybody else.

  • Andrew

    Essentially, the death sentence is a life sentence anyway. Life in prison without parole, he’ll live 30-40 years. Death sentence, he’ll live 30-40 years. PA has a moratorium on the death penalty and nobody has been executed since 1999, yet there are nearly 200 inmates that continue to live out their life on death row….just life the ones who’ve been sentenced to life.

  • Bob

    He killed a guard. I’m sure life in prison isn’t going to be easy on him at all. He will probably be dead within 3 years

  • Richard Maliszewski

    Romans 13:4 says those in authority are God’s servants and “…if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” The sword is an instrument of execution – not something used for spanking. This man should have been executed under both moral and biblical principles.

  • john williams

    Archie, this guy killed without a gun. should we ban his hands? his shive? (oh that was illegal but he got one anyway) his attitude? his connections in prison? looking for an answer here Archie, you always seem to have one.

  • Cheech

    Just great. Some panty waste juror like Gimme A Break couldn’t do what is right and vote with the other 11. The guy is so happy now, he already had a life sentence, so in reality….nothing was done as far as justice for the Williams murder. Nothing was done, period. The guy basically got a free pass. Amazing what’s happened to the system we call the justice system. Disgraceful.

  • magicmikexxsm

    Publish the name of the person who would not vote for the death penalty….out them 16…lets see who the idiot was who would not vote for the death penalty..

  • Sam I Am

    For those who are too young to remember, or new to the area.

    Maybe these 2 should get a joint cell, they both have much in common.

    George Emil Banks (born June 22, 1942) is an American spree killer. A former Camp Hill prison guard, he shot 13 people to death on September 25, 1982 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and Jenkins Township, including seven children – five being his own – their mothers, some of their relatives, and one bystander. His attorneys argued for the insanity defense, but Banks was convicted of charges including 12 counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. He killed more people in Pennsylvania than any other single mass murderer.

  • Sam I Am

    Well it looks like another George Banks verdict.

    George Banks of Wilkes Barre killed 13 people
    ( Women & children ) and is still getting 3 hots and a cot.

  • DJB

    I never quite understood the PA legal system as it relates to capital offenses and specifically the death penalty. Take George Banks as an example—kills THIRTEEN family members in Wilkes-Barre in 1982, is sentenced to death—and STILL is breathing some 34 years after his conviction. He was declared ‘incompetent’ to die in 2010 (I’d argue he is incompetent to live). It took 27 years to figure that out? Seriously?? In the 41 years since the SCOTUS upheld the death penalty, only 3 people have been executed in PA; the last in 1999 while 161 remain on death row. My heart goes out to the Williams family, their loved ones, and the LEO community as a whole as they feel cheated by this decision. But in the final analysis—this scum bag would continue to appeal a death sentence for decades so the “death sentence” is more symbolic than realistic and having to endure the parade of appeals (lawyer job security) would only serve to dredge up this heinous act every time this POS stands in front of a judge. The ones who amaze me are the “defense” attorneys that represent this animal. How on earth do these people sleep at night when he is guilty as it gets and everyone knows it? And that “lone” hold-out juror….THIS is a person who obviously lied during the jury selection process when asked about their views on capital punishment and if they would be able to follow the law when considering sentences (aka “death qualified” juror). In a case like this; one that is so cut and dried, it is only holding to one’s own personal beliefs and convictions that would prevent this juror from siding with the other 11 to sentence this dirt ball to what he truly deserves since thre is no “legal basis” to otherwise do so.. RIP Mr Williams, and prayers for his family and loved ones. May you all somehow, some way find peace and closure despite the injustice of a flawed legal process.

  • Bob Calvey

    This is a travesty maybe this unredeemable animal who deserves to be put to death and should have been already should be made to go live with the lone do gooder

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