A former Wu-Tang Clan studio staffer and close friend of Ghostface Killah will reportedly receive $7 million from New York state after being fully exonerated for a murder for which he spent 23 years in prison.
Grant Williams was convicted of a 1996 murder in Staten Island, NY. He spent 23 years in prison for the crime he claimed he did not commit. He was paroled in 2019 and successfully had his conviction overturned last summer. He filed a lawsuit against the city over his wrongful conviction. The murder case was officially dropped on May 19. On Monday (May 23) The Associated Press reported Comptroller Brad Lander has agreed to pay Williams $7 million.
“I’m glad it’s over now,” said Ghostface Killah, who was on hand at the recent announcement of the official closure of the case. “It’s like lifting a ton of bricks.”
“This will help him move forward and try to get back on his feet,” said Williams attorney Irving Cohen.
Williams was accused of shooting and killing Shdell Lewis at a housing project in Staten Island, NY. He was convicted based on shaky eyewitness accounts, one of which claimed the shooter was short and stocky. Williams is tall and thin. Prosecutors also used a Wu Tang Clan baseball cap left at the scene as evidence. However, the cap was never tested for DNA. Williams’ new attorneys were able to appeal his conviction by proving there was no DNA evidence linking their client to the crime. They also produced additional witnesses who said Williams was not the shooter.
Williams has also reportedly settled another $5 million claim with the state and may have filed a civil suit against the New York City Police Department.
XXL has reached out to the New York City Comptroller for comment.
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