West Virginia man sentenced for 1981 murder of 7-year-old

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to prison for the slaying of a 7-year-old West Virginia boy more than 38 years after the child’s remains was found in a wooded area.

William Jeffries was sentenced to five to 18 years in prison last week for second-degree murder in the 1981 slaying of Conrad Roger “C.R.” Diaz, WBOY-TV reported. The case into Diaz’s death had gone cold and was reopened in 2017.

A jury convicted Jeffries in March after Harrison County Prosecutor Rachel Romano argued he had taken Diaz to the woods to molest him, and then killed him when he wouldn’t be quiet.

Defense attorney Christopher M. Wilson said Jeffries was cleared in the original investigation and the state’s case was primarily based on a February 2018 confession where Jeffries told investigators “what they wanted to hear.”

The Harrison County Prosecutor’s Office told the news outlet Jeffries was charged as an adult although the crime happened when he was 17.

Jeffries was also denied alternative sentencing, including home confinement, and there has not been a recommendation to the parole board on his prison sentence, the office added.