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Press Release

Jacksonville Man Sentenced To More Than Three Additional Years In Prison For Escape From Halfway House

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger has sentenced John Eric Williams (49, Jacksonville) to three years and four months in federal prison for escaping from custody at a Jacksonville halfway house. This sentence will run consecutive to the remaining portion of the 70-month federal prison sentence he was serving when he absconded.           

Williams had pleaded guilty on August 21, 2018.

According to court documents, Williams was serving a 70-month sentence in federal prison for stealing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer and for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. The Bureau of Prisons placed Williams in a halfway house to complete his sentence, with an estimated release date of February 2, 2018. Williams signed a written acknowledgement of the rules of the halfway facility that included the consequences for failing to remain at the facility, including potential prosecution for any escape. 

On July 14, 2017, Williams walked away from the halfway house and was listed as an escapee. On that same day, the house officials called Williams’s friends and relatives, local hospitals, and local jails in an effort to locate him, but were unsuccessful. Williams never returned to the halfway house and, on August 10, 2017, he was arrested by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office on unrelated charges.

This case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Washington.

Updated December 12, 2018

Firearms Offenses