California Releases Convicted Murderer Serving 84-Year Sentence Over Pandemic

Gavin Newsom by JD Lasica is licensed under Flickr CC BY 2.0
California authorities set a convicted murderer loose to create more space in state prisons because of the coronavirus.

Terebea Williams, 44, served about 20 years of a 84-year sentence for murder before state authorities let her out of prison as part of an effort by the California government to free up space inside prisons and reduce the risk of coronavirus spread among inmates, according to CBS Sacramento.

In 2001, Williams was convicted of first-degree murder in the kidnapping and death of 23-year-old Kevin Ruska Jr. Williams held Ruska at gunpoint and forced him into the trunk of her car where she shot him in the abdomen. She then drove him 750 miles to Washington state, tied him to a chair in a motel room, and left him with one leg free so he could stomp for help. He was dead by the time someone found him.

“It’s appalling to me everything that’s been allowed to happen. I don’t think for one second she’s going to walk out there a changed person, she’s not,” said Karri Phillips, Ruska’s cousin.