Accused cop killer reaches plea agreement - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Accused cop killer reaches plea agreement

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Timothy McKinney Timothy McKinney

(WMC-TV) - The man accused of killing a police officer will avoid a fourth trial after striking a plea deal. He will walk free.

Timothy McKinney was able to reach a plea agreement with prosecutors Tuesday after spending years on death row.

McKinney was accused of shooting and killing Memphis Police Officer Don Williams outside a comedy club on December 26, 1997.

The jury deadlocked during his first trial. A second jury found him guilty two years later, but that verdict was overturned on an appeal.

He went to trial again in April 2013, but that retrial ended in another hung jury and was declared a mistrial.

McKinney will now avoid a fourth trial due to the plea deal, and he will be released from jail.

He pleaded guilty to second degree murder and attempted second degree murder. McKinney was sentenced to 15 years in prison on the second degree murder charge and eight years on the attempted second degree murder charge. The sentences were to run concurrently.

"This man will now a chance to live his life and be productive," said Defense Attorney Marty McAfee.

Williams' family left the courtroom before the hearing ended. They gave Action News 5's reporter Nick Kenney a note. The note said, "Though Mr. McKinney pleaded guilty to second degree murder, we are disappointed at this outcome."

"Unfortunately in this case, we have to take into consideration not just the victim's family, but also the entire community and the public," said prosecutor Tom Henderson. "In light of that, we think this disposition is the right thing."

McKinney's family is anxious for his impending freedom.

""15 years is a long time," said brother, Travis McKinney.

Attorneys said this deal had been in the works for the past two years.

McKinney has already been in jail for 15.5 years, so he will get out as a result of time served. McKinney will be released as soon as the Tennessee Department of Corrections processes the paperwork. He is expected to be released no later than early Wednesday.

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