SCRANTON -- An inmate who murdered a federal correctional officer will be sentenced to life in prison after the jury could not decide on the death penalty.
Jessie Con-ui was found guilty last month of first-degree murder for killing Correctional Officer Eric Williams of Nanticoke.
Con-ui was an inmate at the federal prison at Canaan in Wayne County when he killed Williams in February of 2013. Con-ui was serving a life sentence for a gang-related murder in Arizona.
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After five hours of deliberations, the jury could not agree on the harshest punishment for the convicted killer Jessie Con-ui.
Eric Williams' family and fellow workers gasped when the judge said Con-ui will receive life in prison.
Don Williams wasn't expecting his son's murderer Jessie Con-ui would be spared his life after what Con-ui did at the federal prison near Waymart in 2013.
"This man was already doing life. He committed a hideous murder on my son, and they gave him life again."
After weeks of testimony in the penalty phase of the federal trial, the jury couldn't agree on the death penalty even though jurors convicted Con-ui of first-degree murder last month in about half an hour.
"You know what they did to him for doing what he did to my boy? They did nothing. They did absolutely nothing. So I'm not happy," Williams said.
"They didn't do anything. This is how we treat our corrections officers? The man was working, as Mr. Williams said. He was already doing life. He murdered his son, murdered a federal officer. Nothing was done," said Darrell Palmer, Council of Prison Locals.
Williams was working at the federal prison at Canaan in Wayne County when Con-ui jumped him, stabbing him more than 200 times, telling investigators afterward, "It was a disrespect issue."
Now, Don Williams is still committed to making it safer for other correctional officers at prisons across the country.
"We're going to continue our fight for justice and safety for corrections people," he said.
Federal corrections officers tell Newswatch 16 that because Con-ui didn't get the death penalty, they fear he may kill again. After all, Con-ui was in prison for a murder plot when he killed Williams and also had yet to start serving a life sentence in Arizona for another murder.
The trial took only two days because Con-ui's defense team didn't put up a defense.
During the two-day trial, jurors watched graphic surveillance video showing Con-ui attack Williams and stab him more than 200 times.
Con-ui was convicted of a second murder charge because Williams was an on-duty federal law enforcement official.