A Spartanburg man is headed to prison one year after he fatally shot what he thought were two burglars.
The U.S. Atttorney’s Office announced Tuesday that a federal judge sentenced Douglas Lamar Williams to 78 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Williams pleaded guilty to the charges in February. United States Attorney Lance Crick said that Williams will likely report to federal prison within a few weeks.
U.S. District Judge Mary G. Lewis commensed the sentence during a hearing at the federal courthouse in Spartanburg on Tuesday. The sentence indluded three years of supervised release after the initial sentence is served.
Williams faced up to 10 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. He did not have to pay the fine, but he is responsible for a $100 court fee.
According to local authorities, Williams was within his rights when he shot the two cousins, Michael Hill-Gentry Jr. and Darren Tyree Hill, who attempted to break into his home. However, investigators said Williams, as a convicted felon, illegally owned the .38-caliber pistol used in the shootings.
Prosecutors said Williams and his girlfriend returned home shortly after midnight on April 7, 2012 to find two individuals trying to break into their apartment. Williams got out of the vehicle and confronted the two burglars. After announcing his presence, he shot them both in the head and returned to the vehicle where he told his girlfriend to call the police. Both of the burglars died of their wounds. Williams and his girlfriend returned to the scene after a short time and met with law enforcement. He confirmed that he possessed the firearm and that he shot the two individuals.
Williams had previously been convicted of forgery in 2008 and has not recieved a pardon for it.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and handled by Assistant United States Attorney Lance Crick.
Manny Correa filed this report