An Illinois man convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering a toddler he was babysitting in 1997 is set to be released at the end of the month after serving half of his 48-year prison sentence, according to a report.
Cayce Williams, 47, pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder and criminal sexual assault of 20-month-old Quortney Kley, his ex-girlfriend’s daughter, in 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported.
He’s expected to be released on Feb. 25, the same day Quortney died 24 years ago, according to the outlet.
Margaret Morgan couldn’t believe her daughter’s killer was going to be a free man soon.
“You go into this mental shock,” Morgan, who is now a paralegal, told the Chicago Tribune. “You go into that flight or fight mode. What do I do next?”
“I don’t really understand what’s going on,” she said. “I feel like I’m losing my mind.”
When Williams was charged in 1997, the Truth-in-Sentencing law in Illinois required felons convicted of a violent crime must serve their entire sentence. In 1999, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional, which cut the inmates’ sentences in half.
Williams was babysitting Quortney and her 5-year-old sister while their mother was at work the day of the incident.
Little Quortney was taken to a local hospital with severe injuries. An autopsy revealed she was sexually assaulted and that she died from a beating and internal bleeding, the Chicago Tribune reported.