Inmate Convicted In '96 Missing Teen's Rape, Murder

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ATLANTA — Nearly fifteen years after her death, a convicted felon has been found guilty of raping and murdering a missing Decatur teenager.

On Wednesday, a Fulton County jury convicted 52-year old Leroy Cornelius Willis of murder, felony murder, rape and aggravated assault in connection with the death of 19-year-old Franckestea Woods.

Woods was reported missing by her mother on May 21, 1996. Two days later, she was found lying next to an old pick-up truck on the property of Boyd's Tire and Wrecker Service on Bankhead Highway. She had been raped and strangled.

Shortly after Woods' body was found, Willis approached investigators at the crime scene. He was drinking beer out of a can identical to one found near Woods' body, but he was not identified as a suspect at the time.

Seven years later, Willis was sentenced to 20 years for a sexual assault of another woman. As a result of that conviction, authorities matched his DNA profile to DNA found on Woods' body.

Willis was charged and indicted for Woods' murder while serving his prison sentence for the other attack. He was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without parole.