A Massachusetts judge released a man who was arrested on gun charges in late March, only for the man to end up on the run for allegedly killing a sheriff ‘s deputy in Maine one month later.
The alleged killer, John D. Williams, 29, is on the run after he allegedly killed the deputy, stole his car, and robbed a store Wednesday in Norridgewock, Maine, before driving off in the deputy’s police car.
Williams was arrested in March for possession of and carrying a firearm, improper storage of a firearm, possession of ammunition without a Firearms Identification Card (a permit that allows the purchase, possession and transportation of non-large-capacity rifles, shotguns and ammunition), possession of a large capacity feeding device, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and marked lanes violation, Massachusetts state police told The Boston Globe.
After Williams’ March 22 arrest, he was held on a $10,000 bail, which Massachusetts Judge Michael Patten decided to lower to $7,500 even though Williams had a past criminal record and was charged with a list of serious crimes. Williams then appealed the bail amount to Essex Superior Court and had his bail set to $5,000 cash by Massachusetts Judge Timothy Feeley.
Williams paid and was then released.
Feeley, who was appointed by former Massachusetts Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, has faced controversy in the past after he set a “serial sexual abuser” free in 2016 after another judge warned of his release, according to Newburry Port News.
In Maine, Williams was first arrested in 2006 and found guilty on a misdemeanor theft charge. He served two days in jail and paid a $200 restitution. Williams was sentenced to 17 days in jail in 2007 and was put on a one-year probation for a felony burglary charge, Bangor Daily News reported..
Williams was supposed to appear in Massachusetts court Wednesday, the same day he allegedly killed Somerset County Deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole.
The FBI and state officials are searching for Williams and have released information on his appearance. He is reportedly five feet six inches tall, 120 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair, which is shaved on the sides with a pony tail on top, according to WGME 13.
“We have lost an outstanding deputy today who has served with great distinction for the last 13 years,” Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said at a press conference Wednesday. “He was one of the finest deputies you would want to meet.”
Police have asked any individuals with information to call 911 and said they believe the public could be at risk.
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