A 35 year old Syracuse man had pleaded guilty to federal charges that relate to a 2018 robbery and murders he committed at the Chili’s Grill and Bar in Dewitt, New York.

William Wood Jr entered guilty pleas to three federal felonies, one count of murder and two counts of using a firearm in a crime of violence and murder.

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Wood admitted that during the early morning hours of September 15, 2018 he force his way into the back door of a Chili’s, armed with a loaded handgun and carried out an armed robbery that directly caused the deaths of two people by use of a firearm.

Wood admitted that he held all four employees on the ground at gunpoint, and after obtaining the available cash from the restaurant’s safe, shot and killed Stephen Gudknecht and Kristopher Hicks.  Wood admitted that his gun malfunctioned as he attempted to shoot another employee, allowing time for that employee and a fourth employee to hide and flee from Wood.

Wood’s sentencing is scheduled for December 29, 2021 before Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy in Binghamton, New York.   He faces maximum sentences of 20 years on the robbery conviction, and life on each of the two firearms offenses.

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