Watch CBS News

Man found guilty in 2021 murder of Temple student Samuel Collington

Man found guilty in killing of Temple University student Samuel Collington
Man found guilty in killing of Temple University student Samuel Collington 02:53

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A Philadelphia man was found guilty of the November 2021 murder of Temple University student Samuel Collington after a bench trial concluded Tuesday.

In a packed courtroom, a judge ruled Latif Williams guilty on a third-degree murder charge in Collington's Nov. 28, 2021 death. 

Collington, 21, had just returned from Thanksgiving break to his off-campus apartment and was unloading his car on the 2200 block of North Park Avenue, near Dauphin Street.

"The amount of people that showed up here today, how special Sam truly was and we anticipate justice for Sam," Molly Collington, Samuel's mother, said. "He is our hero, he always has been, he always will be. An admirable son in every way."


Police say Williams approached Collington and attempted to rob him and steal his car before shooting the Liberal Arts student twice in the chest.

Collington was a native of Prospect Park, Pennsylvania, and a former City Hall intern and Eagle Scout.

Dozens joined the courtroom to support the Collington family, and people even were in the hallway outside of the emotional trial. 

"It's a sad day, it's not a good day," Joanne Pescatore, the Chief of Homicide at the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, said. "A juvenile is convicted of murder and Sam Collington's parents don't have justice."

Defense attorneys attempted to cast doubt on the allegations that this was a carjacking followed by a cold-blooded killing.

Video played in court showed Collington and Williams engaged in a struggle moments after that first shot was fired.

"It doesn't mean that everyone who has, uses, wields a gun has the specific intent to kill or thinks about something like that happening. It's always a tragedy when something like this happens," Marni Snyder, a defense attorney for Williams, said. 

The family of Williams quietly left court and expressed sympathy for the Collington family. 

"It's a loss for both families. But, sorry it happened," Williams' uncle Bo McClary said. 

Sentencing for Williams is set for May 1, 2024, and the Collington family is focused on a final resolution. 

"I just pray for justice for Sam," Molly Collington said. "I pray for the city and I pray for the safety of everyone."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.