Appeals Court Upholds 1985 Murder Conviction of Bucks County Man

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the 1985 murder conviction of Kenneth Williams, who was found guilty of killing an Ohio truck driver in 1983.

A Bucks County man convicted of a 1983 murder in Lehigh County will remain in prison after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit denied his appeal, according to a press release.

Kenneth Williams, who is now 62, was convicted of first-degree murder and robbery in the death of Edward Miller, 22, whose body was found in a trailer at a Lehigh County truck stop. Williams was convicted when he was 36 according to an article in the Morning Call from Oct. 4, 1985.

Williams was sentenced to death by the jury. At that time, he was the first person to be given that sentence in Lehigh County in 35 years, according to a Lehigh Valley Live article.

Then in 2003 a Lehigh County judge upheld the convictions but granted Williams a new trial on the penalty, according to the release from the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office. In 2008, the state Supreme Court upheld the death sentence, but in 2009, a Lehigh County judge re-sentenced Williams to life in prison. 

Since 2009, Williams has continued to fight the conviction. The release said that Williams' argument was that he was denied his right to effective assistance of counsel and that his due process rights were violated.

The April 13, 2012, decision is the latest development in more than 26 years of appeals in state and federal courts, the release said, and that Williams will continue to fight his conviction.

Williams remains behind bars in the State Correctional Institution in Graterford, Montgomery County.


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