Man Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murder

A 27-year-old Redding man will spend the rest of his life in prison for a murder to which he tried to plead insanity. Cory Willyard was found guilty by a Shasta County jury on April 5th of first degree murder with a special allegation of lying in wait. In November of 2016 Corey Willyard snuck into the home of 27-year-old Cody Graham on Yogi Court off of White River Drive in North Redding. Willyard stabbed Graham in the neck as he slept. Graham’s friends tried to save him but he died at the scene. Willyard then stole a car and was at large for several days until his capture in Bella Vista. Willyard had six prior felony convictions and had been to prison. At the time of the murder he was on mandatory supervision after being released from Shasta County Jail two days earlier. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and maintained that claim throughout the trial but after multiple psychological evaluations the court ruled him sane. At Willyard’s sentencing hearing on Friday, Graham’s friends and family testified to the significance of their loss before Willyard was given life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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