Joseph Williams Georgia Death Row

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Joseph Williams Georgia Death Row 1

Joseph Williams Georgia Death Row

The evidence adduced in Williams’s sentencing trial showed that on July
24, 2001, Williams was a jail inmate at the Chatham County Detention

Seven other inmates, including Michael Deal, were being held in the same
unit as Williams.   Williams and four of the other inmates, Leon
McKinney, Pierre Byrd, Michael Wilson, and John McMillan, discovered a
loose window and used an improvised chisel to chip away at the wall
around it.   Deal inquired what the men were doing but left when he was
told “to mind his own business.”   Williams and other inmates began to
suspect that Deal had informed, or was going to inform, the jail
authorities about the escape plan.   McKinney suggested stabbing Deal
with the improvised chisel, but Williams objected that there would be
too much blood and that their plan would be frustrated.   The group then
carried out an alternative plan to strangle Deal and make the killing
appear to be a suicide.   McKinney engaged Deal in a discussion about
their relative body sizes and then, facing Deal, lifted him in a “bear
hug.”   Williams then began strangling Deal from behind with an Ace
bandage.   Deal fell to the floor but did not immediately lose
consciousness.   The evidence is unclear whether it was Wilson or Byrd,
but one of those two men then assisted Williams by taking one end of the
Ace bandage and completing the strangulation in a “tug-of-war.”   Byrd
invited Anthony King, an inmate who had been friendly with Deal, into
Byrd’s cell to distract King as Deal’s body was moved.   Williams then
dragged Deal’s body to Deal’s cell, flushed the Ace bandage down the
toilet, cleaned up blood and hair on the floor with a rag, flushed the
rag, tied a bed sheet around Deal’s neck, and finally, with the
assistance of McKinney and McMillan, lifted Deal’s body and tied the bed
sheet to a grate in the ceiling to make the death appear to be a
suicide.   After the murder, Williams and Byrd favored also killing King
and Dewey Anderson, but McKinney and McMillan objected.   Byrd, later
troubled by dreams about the victim, contacted his attorney, passed a
note about the murder to a jail guard, and then directed authorities to
the improvised chisel, the loosened window, and a letter about the
murder written to him by Williams.   Williams confessed in an audiotaped
interview conducted by a GBI agent.

Joseph Williams 2019 Information


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