Crime

York County burn-barrel killer appeals conviction, 45-year sentence

Fort Mill man receives 45 years for beating, burning death of girlfriend

In this file video from Aug. 31, 2016, John Coddington, 23, of Fort Mill was sentenced to 45 years after pleading guilty to murdering his girlfriend, Tiffany Williams. Coddington admitted to beating the woman in their shared apartment last Decembe
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In this file video from Aug. 31, 2016, John Coddington, 23, of Fort Mill was sentenced to 45 years after pleading guilty to murdering his girlfriend, Tiffany Williams. Coddington admitted to beating the woman in their shared apartment last Decembe

Days after pleading guilty to beating his girlfriend to death then trying to cover up the crime by burning her body in a barrel, convicted killer John Coddington has appealed both his conviction and the 45-year sentence he received.

Coddington, 23, who worked nights at a Rock Hill Harris Teeter grocery store, pleaded guilty last month in the death of Tiffany Williams in December.

It remains unclear what grounds Coddington will use to appeal his conviction and sentence.

He told Circuit Court Judge Dan Hall during an Aug. 31 plea hearing that he was guilty and that he was satisfied with the legal representation given to him by his lawyers in a deal that potentially saved him from the death penalty.

The appeal includes just one sentence saying Coddington “appeals his conviction and sentence,” but it offers no basis for the appeal.

 

Because he is indigent, Coddington will be assigned an appeals lawyer by the S.C. Commission on Indigent Defense.

York County prosecutors are confident that Coddington's appeal of the conviction and the sentence will go nowhere.

"Justice was served in this terrible crime," said Kevin Brackett, 16th Circuit Solicitor. "Mr. Coddington pleaded guilty, and he is guilty. This case was a murder and he was convicted of murder. The evidence in this case is overwhelming."

Coddington met Williams through an escort service online. He has admitted that he beat and kicked Williams to death inside his Fort Mill condominium after finding out that she had allegedly returned to the escort business despite Coddington’s allowing her to live with him.

After Williams died, Coddington took her body to rural Chester County and over several days tried to get rid of her remains by burning the body in a barrel.

After the crime, Coddington received tattoos of a demon and a killer’s teardrop.

Coddington was caught a week after the killing when friends told police about it. He later confessed when he told police that a “demon came out in me,” and when under the influence of narcotics and alcohol he both killed Williams and then tried to burn her body.

Coddington admitted to the details of the killing and cover-up. He was sentenced to the maximum of 45 years in prison under a plea deal negotiated by his lawyers with prosecutors.

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