Man convicted of killing Baltimore police officer in 1977 granted new trial

Posted at 2:04 PM, Feb 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-15 07:59:18-05

A man convicted of killing a Baltimore Police Officer 40 years ago will get a new trial.

It is known as the Good Friday Massacre.

In the evening of April 16, 1976 at the corner of Lombard and Carey streets, then 18-year-old John Williams unleashed a hail of bullets on responding Baltimore Police Officers.

Several officers were shot that evening, but Officer Jimmy Halcomb was shot to death.

Williams was convicted and is currently serving a life sentence, until now.

On a technicality of how the judge instructed the 1977 jury, John Williams was granted a new trial late last week.

The post-conviction relief was sought by Williams’ attorney Erica Suter on the precedent of a case called Unger vs. Maryland.

Prior to 1981 judges instructed juries that they were to decide the law and facts to apply to the case; today judges ask juries to apply the facts they deem necessary but are now instructed on the laws the groups should use.

Halcomb was survived by two children and his widow Angela.

Williams’ defense attorney did not return several phone calls.

The Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office also declined to comment saying that this case is now re-opened and therefore a pending matter.

A spokesperson for State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Williams will not be released before his new trial.

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