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Wu-Tang Clan Affiliate Awarded $7M After Wrongful Conviction

Wrongfully accused of murder in 1996, former Wu-Tang Clan studio worker Grant Williams has been awarded $7 million after 23 years in prison.

Wu-Tang Clan affiliate and former studio worker Grant Williams won big after filing a lawsuit against New York City. After being wrongfully accused of murder and spending 23 years behind bars, on Monday, Williams was awarded $7 million, per The Associated Press.

At 51-years-old, Williams was granted parole in 2019 before having his wrongful conviction overturned last July. In 1996, he was accused of murdering 20-year-old Shdell Lewis outside of Stapleton Projects in Staten Island. According to NBC News, a single eyewitness of the murder cited Williams as the perpetrator, although Williams is 6’2 unlike the 5’5 shooter that was described.

With new evidence and six witnesses who claimed Williams was not the shooter, Williams’ case was overturned. Once cleared of charges, Williams sued New York City, with the comptroller’s office opting to settle out of court. New York state also settled a different claim with Williams for $5 million.

“This will assist him in going forward and trying to get back on his feet,” said Williams’ attorney, Irving Cohen.

“Glad it’s over now,” said Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah to NBC News. “It’s like a ton of bricks just being lifted.”

“I used to tell everybody in prison I’m innocent,” Williams said outside the courthouse Ghostface Killah stood beside him. “They say, ‘Oh Williams, everybody says that.’ I said, ‘I’m telling you the truth. One day you’re gonna see me on the news and they’re gonna say that I was innocent,’ and today’s that day.”

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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