Mother of one of the Chili’s shooting victims speaks out ahead of William Wood sentencing

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Nancy Chappell, the mother of Steven Gudknecht, one of the victims killed in the Chili’s shooting, is speaking out ahead of the federal sentencing of William Wood Jr.

United States Attorney General William Barr has authorized the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Syracuse to pursue the death penalty against Wood, who admitted to shooting and killing Gudknecht and Kristopher Hicks inside a DeWitt Chili’s restaurant in September.

“We are his voice, so, William Wood took that away, so we need to honor my son by doing what we can for him,” Chappell said.

William Wood Jr. opened fire inside the Chili’s on Erie Blvd., killing Gudnecht and his co-worker Kristopher Hicks, during an armed robbery.

Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick said he likely planned to kill more, but there was an issue with his gun. 

Wood is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday to state charges he pleaded guilty to. He pleaded guilty to a 10-count indictment, including charges for first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and robbery.

Wood is expected to get a life sentence from the state. 

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