Cop Killer to Be Released after Plea Deal

Cop Killer to Be Released after Plea Deal

The killer of a Memphis police officer who's gone on trial three times will soon be a free man.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The killer of a Memphis police officer who's gone on trial three times will soon be a free man.

Timothy McKinney struck a plea deal Tuesday; he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of Second Degree Murder.

McKinney shot off-duty MPD Officer Don Williams outside a comedy club in 1997.

A jury convicted McKinney in 1999 and sentenced him to death, but a state appeals court overturned that sentence in 2010.

McKinney went on trial two more times, with a mistrial declared in both.

"During the period of time between the initial trial and the retrials, many of the State’s witnesses, including the State’s key witness Officer Frank Lee, passed away. After a great deal of consideration, I decided to accept the guilty plea of the defendant to second degree murder and criminal attempt second degree murder," stated Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich.

Under his plea deal, a judge sentenced him to 15 years. He will receive credit for time served, which means he'll probably be out of jail before Memorial Day.

He victim's family released the following statement in response to the deal:

"While we understand the situation and the D.A.'s decision, our family resolved early on to stay the course; to prosecute Mr. McKinney to the fullest extent of the law. Though Mr. McKinney pled guilty to second degree murder, we are disappointed at this outcome."

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