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Williams will be arraigned on murder charges

Bryant Williams is scheduled to be arraigned in McDuffie County Superior Court on Monday, on charges stemming from the April 2008 shooting deaths of two women, including his girlfriend's sister and her unborn baby.

It will mark Mr. Williams' first court hearing since he was brought before Chief Magistrate Judge William Bryant Swan after his arrest by local and state authorities.

In this hearing before Toombs Judicial Circuit Superior Court Chief Judge Roger W. Dunaway Jr., Mr. Williams will plead guilty or not guilty.

Mr. Williams is being defended by Harold Wallace, the circuit's chief public defender. Chief Assistant District Attorney Durwood R. Davis will represent the state during the upcoming hearing.

He faces the following charges: two counts of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of feticide, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of certain crimes and four counts of statutory aggravating circumstances, according to records filed in the McDuffie County Superior Court Clerk's Office.

It is not known whether or not District Attorney Dennis C. Sanders plans to seek the death penalty. As of last Thursday, there had been no paperwork filed regarding that possibility. Mr. Williams and his attorney would have to be informed first, if the state decides to seek the death penalty.

The charges against Mr. Williams stem from an April 30, 2008 shooting at an apartment that he and his girlfriend, Marlo Mathis, 20, lived in on Cherry Street in Thomson. Miss Mathis' sister, Linda Mathis, 21, of Warrenton, who was several months pregnant, was shot multiple times like her younger sister. Family members say Marlo Mathis, had just learned that was pregnant, too. Linda Mathis, who was engaged to be married at the time, had been visiting with her sister and her boyfriend, authorities said.

Following the shooting, a dispatcher with the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department received a call from a man stating that a shooting had occurred and authorities were needed. The caller is believed by authorities to have been Mr. Williams, whose mother lived next door.

Lawmen with the Thomson Police Department, the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department, the Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrived there they were unable to find the person responsible for the crime.

Mr. Williams fled the area and later was taken into custody without incident in a rural section of Washington County, several miles from Sandersville. He was brought back to Thomson where formal charges were filed against him.

Web posted on Thursday, March 18, 2010

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