U.S. Judge Frees Oklahoma Man after 17 Years in Prison

Apr 19, 2014

Tulsa Federal Court House
Credit KWGS File Photo

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the release of a man who spent 17 years in federal prison for a drug manufacturing conviction.

The Tulsa World reports that U.S. District Judge James Payne ruled Friday that the conviction of 53-year-old Jeffrey Williams should be dropped.

Williams was convicted in 1997 of methamphetamine possession and firearm charges and sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison.

Williams initially pleaded innocent, later changed his plea to guilty and has since tried to change it back, saying he was coerced.

Court hearings were held in May 2012 following a police corruption scandal in Tulsa. Witnesses recanted past claims used in Williams' conviction, and the judge ruled that the testimony of convicted former police officers and federal agents involved in the case was unreliable.