Convicted murderer speaks for first time, says he's innocent despite confession

Convicted killer claims innocence

ANSON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A young man convicted of a double murder and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison could one day get out, thanks to a new U-S Supreme Court Ruling.

Montrez Williams, now 23, was just 17 at the time he shot and killed two teenaged brothers, Josh Davis and Terry Long.

The murders happened in west Charlotte in June of 2008 after a long standing feud, that started when Long and Williams were in middle school, boiled over one night.

"I don't deserve this," said Williams. "I don't deserve two life sentences. Only people that know who really did it is Terry, Josh, the Lord and the person that really did it."

The soft spoken young man was just 17 at the time of the murders in 2008. Williams says he confessed out of fear because of threats made against his family.

"Like when it comes down to my family, I've always been the type of person that would put everything on the line," he said.

Convicted up first degree murder, Williams was sentenced to the maximum under North Carolina law: life in prison without the possibility of parole.  He's currently serving his sentences at Lanesboro Correctional in Anson County.

Right now, his conviction stands. But a 2012 ruling by the United States Supreme Court says an automatic sentence of life without parole is too harsh if you're under 18 at the time of your crime which means Williams could one day get out of prison.

"I look at it as a blessing because I don't deserve this," he said. "I feel like I don't deserve it because I know truly I didn't do it, deep inside."

But Andrea Long, the victims' mother, says this new development only re-opens a wound that never really heals.

"You don't lose two children and years go by and it get better," she explained. "It just gets to the place where you accept it.

While Long says she doesn't believe Williams' claims of innocence, she says she has forgiven him.

"Forgiveness means you no long hold the hatred any longer," she pointed out. "I don't hate him. Hate is not going to bring Josh and Terry back."

Williams knows that, too and wanted their mother to know he thinks of her sons often.

"I think about them a lot," he said. "Like I said, I never wish death on anyone. I never wanted it to happen like that. That wasn't my doing."

Long also told WBTV she's had another revelation in the years since her sons' murders.

"I see the thread that Montrez is cut from and he became a victim at a very early age," she said. "So, in a way he's a victim, too. He doesn't deserve to be out of prison, but he's victim, too."

Williams has a re-sentencing hearing scheduled for February 27. It's unclear what his new sentence could be or if a judge will even grant one.

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