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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Oklahoma

Monday, February 25, 2013

Army Private Pleads Guilty To First Degree Murder Of Ten-Year-Old Boy At Fort Sill Army Post

Lawton, Oklahoma – Today, CONNELL C. WILLIAMS, 33, from Virginia, has pled guilty to first degree murder in the starvation death of a ten-year-old boy on Fort Sill Army Post, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

"Marcus was a ten-year-old boy who was robbed of his life and subjected to a horrific and agonizing death by starvation," said U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats. "Although nothing can bring Marcus back, I am gratified that Connell Williams has accepted responsibility for his crime. By pleading guilty, he will be in a federal prison cell for the rest of his life and never again harm a child. I thank the investigators and the prosecution team who worked tirelessly to seek and obtain justice for Marcus in this case."

Williams, an enlisted member of the United States Army, was assigned as a PFC to the 214th Fires Brigade at Fort Sill in Comanche County, Oklahoma, in August 2010. Court proceedings showed that in September 2010, CANDICE C. HOLLOWAY, 32, from Norfolk, Virginia, and her two children moved into Fort Sill military housing with Williams. Williams and Holloway were not married and Williams is not the biological father of the two children. From early 2011 through May of 2011, Williams and Holloway intentionally withheld food from Marcus as a form of punishment, which ultimately resulted in his death on May 5, 2011. Marcus was ten-years-old at the time of his death.

Williams and Holloway were charged by indictment with first degree child abuse murder on September 7, 2011. On April 16, 2012, Holloway pled guilty to first degree murder in exchange for an agreement to serve a 30 year term in prison, followed by a five years of supervised release, and to cooperate with the prosecution and testify against Williams at his trial.

The Department of Justice originally sought the death penalty against Williams. The trial began last week and Holloway testified against Williams last Friday. In exchange for Williams’ plea of guilty to first degree murder and acceptance of a life sentence, the Department of Justice agreed to withdraw the notice to seek the death penalty. The Court accepted this guilty plea early this morning and Williams will receive a sentence of life without the possibility of release.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Army Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by United States Attorney Sanford C. Coats and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Randal A. Sengel and Robert A Bradford.

Updated December 15, 2014