No new trial for man serving life for S.C. robberies

  • Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2013 11:39 p.m.

YORK (AP) — A man serving seven life sentences for shooting four people during a series of York County robberies will not get a new trial.

The Herald of Rock Hill reports that a judge on Friday denied a new trial for 25-year-old Phillip Watts Jr.

Police said Watts confessed to all the crimes after he was arrested but recanted later and claimed mental problems. In some of the robberies, Watts shot people even after his victims had given him money.

Watts claimed in a lawsuit that his first trial lawyer should have fought for him to undergo mental testing before trial.

Weeks before the robberies started, Watts had been released on probation from a state juvenile jail after years of incarceration for violent crimes.

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