ALLEGAN (WWJ/AP) – A 75-year-old killer who has been in a psychiatric center for more than 40 years is asking an Allegan County judge to release him.
The case of Theodore Williams will be revisited Wednesday in a western Michigan courtroom. He’s been held under an old law that allows him to try to show he’s not a threat to the public and should be freed.
In 1967, Williams admitted killing a 7-year-old Grand Rapids girl whose body was found in Allegan County. Police said he also confessed to killing a girl in another county a year earlier.
Williams pleaded guilty to murder in the death of Sonya Santa Cruz. But instead of going to prison, he was classified as a criminal-sexual psychopath and committed indefinitely to a state hospital. That law, the Criminal Sexual Psychopath Act, was repealed in 1968.
According to the Grand Rapids Press, Williams on Wednesday will ask a judge to allow a jury to decide if he has recovered from his personality disorder and should be released from the psychiatric hospital.
The appeals court says Williams will only be released if there are “reasonable grounds to believe that such person has recovered from such psychopathy to a degree that he will not be a menace to others.”
Williams’ previous appeals have all been denied.
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