A deputy’s son allegedly murdered a sheriff in Alabama after being told to turn down some music. William Chase Johnson, 18, is being charged with murder, according to The Montgomery Advertiser.
Authorities said Johnson killed Lowndes County Sheriff John “Big John” Williams on Saturday. The sheriff’s office in neighboring Montgomery County said that the defendant in this case is the son of one of their deputies, according WSFA.
Investigators and a witness said Sheriff Williams approached Johnson’s truck at the QV convenience store in the Lowndes County town of Hayneville. He asked why the defendant’s music was loud, but Johnson shot him in the head, according to accounts.
“Right there at Pump 8,” Charles Benson told the Advertiser. “Big John comes up and asks the young man about the loud music, just like he has done hundreds of times before. Big John don’t take no foolishness. That’s when he got shot. I don’t understand it. The sheriff is gone over loud music? It just don’t seem right.”
It’s unclear if defendant Johnson has an attorney in this matter. He’s being held in nearby Elmore County.
Many spoke warmly of the late sheriff Williams.
“He was a wonderful man,” ALEA Trooper Sgt. Steve Jarrett said according to AL.com. “Everybody in law enforcement knew him. If you ever met him, you’d never forget him. He worked 24/7 and was an outstanding sheriff.”
I’m incredibly saddened by Sheriff Williams’ senseless murder in the line of duty last night. He was a giant in the Alabama law enforcement community and will be deeply missed. My prayers are with his family, friends & the entire Lowndes County community. https://t.co/dbTjr9HvF8
— Rep. Terri A. Sewell (@RepTerriSewell) November 24, 2019
“He was a great friend,” said Michael Jackson, district attorney for the Alabama Fourth Judicial Circuit, which is west of Lowndes County. “Man, this hurts.”
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) also issued a statement after learning of Williams’s death.
“I’m saddened to hear about Sheriff Big John Williams, who was tragically killed this evening in the line of duty. Through his service to our country in the @USMC and his many years working in law enforcement, he dedicated his life to keeping other people safe,” she said. ‘He will be remembered as a consummate professional and pillar of his community. I offer my prayers and deepest sympathies to his family and to the men and women of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department.”
[Mugshot via Elmore County Jail]
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