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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Federal Jury Returns Sentence Of Life Imprisonment For Murder Of A Federal Correctional Officer

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a federal jury in Scranton returned a verdict yesterday for life imprisonment for Jessie Con-Ui, age 40, a federal inmate, for the first-degree murder of U.S. Correctional Officer Eric Williams. Senior U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo scheduled the formal imposition of the life sentence for October 12, 2017.


According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, on June 7, 2017, the same jury convicted Con-Ui of “willfully, deliberately, maliciously, and with premeditation and malice aforethought” killing Officer Williams while he was engaged in the performance of his duties at the Canaan Federal Correctional Complex, United States Penitentiary, in Waymart, Pennsylvania, on February 25, 2013.


The evidence at trial established that Con-Ui, armed with two sharpened weapons (commonly known as “shanks”), positioned himself at the top of a metal stairway as Correctional Officer Williams ascended the stairway leading to the second floor of a housing unit within the prison. Inmate Con-Ui kicked Correctional Officer Williams down the stairs and then stabbed him over 200 times with the weapons. Con-Ui also repeatedly kicked and stomped on Correctional Officer Williams causing massive fatal injuries.


At the time of the murder, Con-Ui was serving an 11-year federal sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, imposed by the United States District Court, in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2005. Con-Ui was also serving a concurrent life sentence for first-degree murder imposed by the Maricopa County Superior Court, Phoenix, Arizona, in 2008. In connection with that event, Con-Ui shot and killed Carlos Garcia on August 25, 2002, in Phoenix, Arizona.


At the time of his death, Correctional Officer Eric Williams was 34-years-old, and a resident of Wapwallopen, Pennsylvania.


“A correctional officer has one of the most dangerous jobs in law enforcement. Eric Williams was performing that job at USP Canaan, when was he blindsided and brutalized by Jessie Con-Ui,” said Michael Harpster, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Philadelphia Division.” The heinous violence inflicted upon Correctional Officer Williams cost a dedicated federal officer his life. At the Philadelphia FBI, our hearts go out to the Williams family and all who knew and loved Eric.”


“We are extremely disappointed with the jury’s verdict, but I want to highlight the outstanding work of all the men and women who worked on this case for over four years,” said United States Attorney Brandler. “The Phoenix, Arizona Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Phoenix Police Department, the Phoenix Department of Corrections, and the Phoenix Juvenile Justice Office; the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia; the Scranton, Pennsylvania Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Victim-Witness Unit and legal support staff, and Assistant United States Attorneys Fran P. Sempa and Robert J. O’Hara and Department of Justice Capital Case Section Attorney Robert J. Feitel, all performed their roles in exemplary fashion and deserve our appreciation for their tireless efforts in the prosecution of this case.”



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Violent Crime
Updated July 11, 2017