Onondaga County's District Attorney say a Syracuse teenager accused of beating a 70 year old man to death can only be charged with manslaughter.
18 year old Romeo Williams is now facing a first degree manslaughter charge after he killed 70 year old James Gifford in September outside a 7-11 store in the city's Valley neighborhood.
Williams struck Gifford in the head with one punch, which led to his death. Williams then walked into the store to celebrate the assault, according to prosecutors, and then came back outside where he continued to kick and punch the victim.
Williams has a long criminal record, and he had been charged with three previous felonies. He was out on bail at the time on a weapons charge when the assault occurred. Gifford died a few days later in the hospital from his injuries.
The gun charge he's facing alone could get him 15 years in prison if convicted. Williams has now been charged with first and second degree manslaughter in the assault.