Murder charges withdrawn against man, 21, jailed 5 weeks

Murder charges were withdrawn against Kevin Williams, who spent five weeks in jail. (Photo:
Murder charges were withdrawn against Kevin Williams, who spent five weeks in jail. (Photo:

The murder charges against a man who said he was wrongly jailed for the crime have been withdrawn.

Suffolk County Prosecutors officially withdrew the charges against 21-year-old Kevin Williams Friday.

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The move comes a week after Williams was released from jail, where he had spent the previous five weeks.

"I'm happy, I'm very happy," Williams said after the news broke. "They freed an innocent gentleman, you know, I'm innocent. There's a bunch of cases like mine that need to get solved.

Williams’ family told Boston 25 News he had been falsely arrested for the murder of a gas station attendant in Dorchester.

"They arrest him and my whole world crashed," Williams' mother Regina Hunter said. "I will step up for my kid when he is 100 percent not guilty. And I can say that with 100 percent confidence, because he was at home with me."

Jose Luis Phinn-Williams, an attendant at Fabian Gas Station on Washington Street, was shot to death during an apparent robbery Oct. 6.

Suffolk County District Attorney John Pappas said the decision to withdraw the charges came from a “review of the evidence gathered and analyzed” since the night the 67-year-old was murdered.

“The ethical step was to withdraw the charges prior to the first scheduled court date as that investigation continues,” Pappas said in a statement.

Prosecutors said Williams’ arrest was supported by a detailed description, but the 21-year-old’s family disputes that claim.

“We don’t force the evidence to fit the case,” said Pappas, whose office notified the victim’s family and defendant’s attorney of the development. “We follow the facts wherever they lead, and today they led us to this decision. The investigation remains open, it remains active and it remains a priority for us.”

Williams' attorney tells us he was at home with his mother packing for the family's move that next morning when the shooting occurred. When he left the house to visit his girlfriend a few blocks away from the homicide, Boston police arrested him and later charged him with gun charges and murder.

Jose Williams was shot shortly after 11:30 p.m. on the night of Oct. 6 while working at the gas station. Police are still seeking information on suspects in his murder.

Boston Police Commissioner William Gross released a statement on the situation, agreeing with the decision:
"I agree with the decision made by Suffolk County District Attorney John P. Pappas to withdraw the charges against Kevin Williams in the homicide of Jose Luis Phinn Williams. The Boston Police Department continues to work closely with the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office to solve this case and hold those responsible accountable of their actions."

Now, Williams' mother wants more for her son, saying she wants his record cleared and a public apology, while also saying her son is far from the only one being falsely accused.

"There is a system that is broken," Hunter said. "There is a system that needs to be fixed."