A man who has sat on Connecticut’s death row for more than two decades for murdering a Waterbury Police has been resentenced.
In 1995, Richard Reynolds was sentenced to death with life in prison. Now, with the death penalty in Connecticut abolished, Reynolds was re-sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Reynolds was convicted of murdering Waterbury Police officer Walter Williams in December 1992 when he was 34 years old.
In the early morning of Dec. 18, 1992 Williams was working alone as a patrolman when then 24-year-old Reynolds intentionally bumped into Williams to see if he was wearing body armor.
“When he learned that he was, he pulled out a gun from his pocket, spun around and shot Walter Williams behind the left ear from approximately one to two feet away. Walter Williams fell to the ground mortally wounded,” said state attorney, Cynthia Serafini.
Now, almost 25 years later, a Waterbury courtroom was filled with Williams’ family – and his brothers in blue.
“Walter was gone. I was a widow with three small boys how was I going to do this alone,” said Jeanine Cullen, William’s wife, before the courtroom as victim statements were read.
In 2012, the state of Connecticut repealed the death penalty but existing sentences remained in place. In 2016 the state supreme court abolished the death penalty all together – meaning anyone on death row would have to be resentenced – including Reynolds, who is now 47 years old.
“I’m telling the killer of my son Walter T. Williams – I will never, never forgive him. I miss and love you always my son,” said Helen Williams, Walter’s mother.
Wolcott Police Chief Ed Stephens, who worked with Williams when they were both with the Waterbury Police Department, said he is disappointed.
“He deserved the death penalty but what happened instead because of what happened in Hartford with the Governor and all… he now has life – it’s wrong,” said Chief Stephens.
Williams is survived by three children, all who are grown men now.