ETX jury hands down maximum sentence in 1999 cold-case murder - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee


ETX jury hands down maximum sentence in 1999 cold-case murder


It only took the jury 10 minutes to reach a verdict in the sentencing phase of the trial of an East Texas man convicted in a cold-case murder from 1999.

34-year-old, Shams Masters was sentenced to life in prison with a $10,000 fine.

Masters was convicted, Monday for the February 1999 death of William Thomas Young. Young was born in November of 1980 and attended Robert E. Lee High School. He was shot to death at age 18 by a gunshot wound to the head. His body was found in a wooded area that is now the Woodland Estates, near Flint. Young's body was found on the morning of February 18, 1999 by a man waking his dog.

Tuesday, the parents of the victim took the stand one last time to tell the jury how much pain and suffering Masters has caused their family.

"I think of my son everyday. Every morning when I get up I thank the lord for the day and I say, 'Good morning, Lock.' That's every day," said the victim's mother, Rosalind Young.

"My nights have been sleepless. My days have been dark," said the victim's father, William Young Sr.

Prosecutors brought to light Masters' multiple convictions and sentences served since the murder. Those convictions included drug charges, assault and multiple bank robberies.

But, the defense argued that the jury wasn't present to sentence Masters for his other crimes.

"The allegation before you is not bank robbery... it's not possession of a controlled substance... it's not misdemeanor drug possessions... it's not a misdemeanor assault. The allegation here before you is murder," said defense attorney A. M. Thompson.

Attorneys for The State told the jurors the defense was right.

"Absolutely. Consider the fact that this is a murder. Consider the fact that he shot somebody in the head for a bag of crack," said prosecutor Whitney Tharp.

Prosecutors urged the jurors to give Masters the maximum sentence. The said that way, if he makes parole in 30 years, he'll still be on probation for the rest of his life.

"If anybody in this room feels comfortable with Mr. Masters being out in the free world, and not being supervised by anybody, that's a scary thought," Tharp said.

The jury deliberated for two hours Monday before reaching a guilty verdict for Masters.

Masters will be sent back to a federal prison in Colorado to finish the 14 years left in his bank robbery sentence. After that, he'll be transported back to Texas where he'll begin serving this life sentence.


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