Judge rejects suspect's latest appeal in Atlanta child slayings

A federal judge rejected a request by convicted killer Wayne Williams to reconsider evidence Williams says points to another suspect in the Atlanta-area slayings of two dozen boys and young men during the 1970s and '80s.

Judge Beverly Martin has said Williams failed to provide any new evidence suggesting someone else committed the two murders for which he was convicted and another 22 slayings in which he was accused but never charged.

"It is not proper for this court to string this case out endlessly in the hope that somehow Mr. Williams may someday find some exculpatory evidence," Martin wrote.

Williams' lawyers said they have information that a repeat child molester serving time in a Georgia prison lived or worked near where many of the bodies were found. The lawyers did not identify the molester.

They also alleged that investigators knew the man was a viable suspect in the murders but never told defense attorneys. The state has said there is no merit to the claims, and the judge wrote in her order Tuesday that no proof had been provided, reports AP.

Between 1979 and 1981, 29 black boys and young men were killed in the Atlanta area. Williams was convicted in 1982 of murdering two young men and sentenced to two consecutive life terms. Evidence of a pattern of conduct in 12 of the slayings was used in his trial. Afterward, officials declared Williams responsible for 22 other deaths, and those cases were closed.

Williams, who is black, has contended that he was framed. He has maintained that Atlanta officials covered up evidence of Ku Klux Klan involvement in the killings to avoid a race war in the city a claim investigators have denied.