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Suspected Chili's shooter appears in federal court, death penalty possible

The man accused of shooting and killing two people at the Chili's in Dewitt last year appeared in court on federal murder charges. (CNY Central)

The man accused of shooting and killing two people at the Chili's in Dewitt last year appeared in court on federal murder charges.

If convicted, the punishment on the federal level could be the death penalty. It's a very unique case, because there is no death penalty in New York State.

The federal indictment on February 15 includes charges of robbery and use of gun to carry out a murder.

CNY central obtained a copy of that indictment which alleges William Wood shot two employees inside the Dewitt Chili's back in September, after stealing money from the restaurant.

Federal charges now make Wood eligible for the death penalty, but that does not mean federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

That will be up to the U.S. Attorney to decide that at a later date.

If they proceed with the death penalty, the prosecution will file a notice with the court. Then, if Wood is convicted by a jury, it would also be up to a jury to decide if he gets the death penalty.

It would require a unanimous verdict to impose the death penalty.

The execution would be carried out at a federal prison in Indiana.

Five people, including Wood, are facing charges related to the double murder.

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