Romeo Williams gets 15 years in prison before standing trial for Jim Gifford death

Romeo Williams

Romeo Williams, the man accused of beating Jim Gifford to death in front of a 7-Eleven convenience store on the south side of Syracuse, was sentenced on an unrelated weapons charge today.

Williams was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with five years of probation, for having an illegal handgun last August.

Williams is also facing a manslaughter charge related to the beating death of 70-year-old Jim Gifford, where Williams allegedly attacked the man for no reason, left to brag about it, and the returned and continued the beating.

Gifford died of his injuries four days later. Police have not released a motive for the attack. But outside court, Williams' defense attorney gave us some insight into his client's childhood. "His father was in prison from the time Romeo was 4 1/2 years old. His mother had difficulty bringing Romeo up," said attorney Eric Jeschke. "He probably went to six different schools before he was 14-years-old. He did not have an ideal upbringing."

Williams will go on trial for the death of James Gifford on September 8.

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