Grant Williams was a Wu-Tang Clan affiliate who lived an otherwise quiet life in Staten Island, New York, reports Afro Tech.
Williams, who was friends with Ghostface Killa and frequently worked in the studio when the Wu would record their now-classic albums, had his whole life changed after Shdell Lewis was gunned down in front of the Shelton Houses. At that time, the NYPD was struggling to find Lewis’s killer — and some witnesses claimed, without any evidence, that Williams was the gunman. Furthermore, according to the AP, prosecutors linked a hat with a Wu-Tang Clan logo to Williams. However, the hat was reportedly never DNA tested.
There was, ultimately, no credible evidence to confirm that Williams was responsible for Lewis’s death — but that didn’t stop a jury from convicting him of second-degree murder back in 1997. He was sentenced to 25 years to life.
And with that, Grant Williams went from being a Wu-Tang Clan affiliate to a convicted murderer.
Recently, however, Williams was awarded $7 million from the City of New York for convicting him of a crime he didn’t commit. Let’s take a look at how Williams’ insatiable fight for justice ultimately led to his name getting cleared.
For years, Grant Williams had been telling everyone — from his fellow inmates to the Staten Island district attorney — that he was an innocent man. Finally, in 2019, someone listened.
Williams was ultimately exonerated on July 22, 2021, after Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon paid attention to the case, and realized the lack of evidence was too great to overcome. After all, there was “no forensic evidence or surveillance video” linking him to the crime.” Williams’ conviction was subsequently vacated.
Ultimately, the Wu-Tang Clan affiliate was awarded $7 million from the City of New York for his wrongful conviction.