Wayne Williams’ Lawyer Says Files Could Lead to New Trial
NEW YORK (AP) _ A lawyer for Wayne B. Williams says newly released police files contain information that could be grounds for a new trial for the man accused of killing two Atlanta children, according to a published report.
Lynn Whatley said Friday that the files, which were denied to defense attorneys during the trial, cast doubt on the motives and credibility of a key prosecution witness, The New York Times reported in Sunday’s editions.
Evidence that would tend to prove defendants innocent must be turned over to the defense, and Whatley said this information had not been.
Williams, 29, was convicted Feb. 27, 1982 of murdering two of 30 young blacks who were killed in a two-year period in the Atlanta area.
The newly released files include a transcript of a police interview with a prosecution witness, Bobby Toland, who described himself as a ″bounty hunter″ interested in the reward money offered in the case.
Williams was charged in 1978 with making a false police report after trying to implicate Toland in a car theft.
Toland said in the interview, ″I would like to get the little nigger ’cause he screwed me.″ Later, he said, ″I don’t like the little nigger - you know what I’ve been through with him.″
Toland, a white ambulance driver, testified at the trial that Williams, a black free-lance photographer, ″seemed to me to be ashamed of lower- and middle-class blacks,″ adding, ″He seemed angry about it.″
The testimony helped the prosecution establish a motive for Williams.
The interview transcript showed that Toland four times expressed interest in the reward money.
Prosecutors linked Williams to 10 of the other victims, and Atlanta police said Williams was responsible for at least 24 murders.