A Syracuse man plead guilty in Federal Court Monday to charges of Murder and Robbery stemming from a 2018 Double Homicide at the Chili's Restaurant in DeWitt, New York.

Federal Prosecutors say William Wood Jr. admitted in open court that he planned and carried out an armed robbery of the Central New York restaurant, where he was a former employee.

During the course of that Robbery, Wood Jr. says he held four employees closing up for the night at gunpoint in the early morning hours of September 15th. Wood Jr. brought them to the ground and proceeded to take what money was available.

Prosecutors say Wood Jr. then turned back to the store employees and admitted to shooting two people to death and only sparing the others, due to a jammed weapon. Ultimately, Wood Jr. killed Stephen Gudknecht and Kristopher Hicks. The other two employees were able to flee from Wood Jr. and hide.

Wood Jr. faces maximum sentences of 20 years on the Federal robbery conviction, and life on each of the two Federal firearms offenses. He will be sentenced on December 29th, 2021 before Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy.

Federal Prosecutors says Wood Jr. was already convicted in Onondaga County Court and sentenced to life without parole after pleading guilty to related state crimes. Wood Jr. will serve his state sentence first, and if ever released by New York State, he would be surrendered to federal custody to serve any undischarged portion of his federal term of imprisonment.

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