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Press Release

Syracuse Man Charged With Robbery and Murder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
William D. Wood, Jr. Charged With Killing Two During a Robbery at Chili’s Bar & Grill in Dewitt, New York

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – William D. Wood, Jr., 33, of Syracuse, New York, appeared today on an indictment charging him with the September 15, 2018, robbery of Chili’s Bar & Grill in  Dewitt, New York, and the murder of two employees by shooting them to death in the course of that robbery, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and John Devito, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), New York Field Division. 

Federal law proscribes murder through the use of a firearm during or in relation to a crime of violence such as a robbery that interferes with commerce. The indictment also provides notice of eight special findings, including commission of the murders in the expectation of the receipt of something of pecuniary value, commission of the murders after substantial planning and premeditation, and the intentional killing and attempt to kill more than one person in a single criminal episode.

The defendant was arraigned today in Syracuse, New York, before United States Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles and detained pending a trial before Senior United States District Court Judge Thomas J. McAvoy.

Under the federal statutes cited in the indictment, the potential maximum penalty for the robbery charged is imprisonment for 20 years and the potential maximum for each of the murders charged is the death penalty. The Attorney General of the United States will decide whether to seek the death penalty based upon the recommendation of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York and after carefully considering the defendant’s background and the circumstances of the crimes charged in the indictment.

The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is being investigated by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Town of Dewitt Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Fletcher.

Updated February 16, 2019

Violent Crime