Wayne Williams, sentenced to two consecutive life terms Saturday...

ATLANTA -- Wayne Williams, sentenced to two consecutive life terms Saturday for two of the 28 Atlanta child murders, probably will not be paroled when he becomes eligible in seven years, a celebrated Georgia attorney said.

'Ordinarily, in cases of this type which have had the exposure which this one has had, it would be most unlikely that one would in fact be paroled in this period of time,' said Bobby Lee Cook, possibly the best-known lawyer in Georgia.


'The average time for parole actually being granted for life sentences in Georgia would lie between the years of 12 and 13,' said Cook, who defended pornographer Mike Thevis when he was charged with murder and arson.

Cook said he would be surprised if Williams, whose convictions came on entirely circumstantial evidence, were paroled before serving 12 to 15 years.

'Maybe not even then,' Cook said.

Shortly after the verdict was announced, Al Binder, Williams' chief defense attorney, indicated the case would be appealed -- possibly to the Supreme Court.

Cook agreed with Binder that any appeals would be based on the decision by Superior Court Judge Clarence Cooper to allow 'pattern evidence' to be admitted.


Testimony was permitted during the trial connecting Williams to nine of the 26 other homicides investigated by a special police task force. He also was connected to a 10th murder that did not appear on the task force list.

'I would be predisposed to agree with him that the most catastrophic thing (to the defense) was the admission of the pattern evidence, or the other alleged murders that were not included in this indictment.'

'It causes you to defend against crimes that are not specifically set forth in the indictment,' he explained. 'That, to me ... would most likely be a very close question for appellate review.'

'An extremely close question,' said Cook.

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