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Arraignment on murder charges postponed

Arraignment proceedings planned for a Thomson man accused in a double slaying were postponed in McDuffie County Superior Court on Monday.

Bryant Williams, clad in an orange jumpsuit, handcuffed and with his legs shackled, appeared briefly outside the courthouse, but was quickly escorted to a patrol car after getting out of van. Mr. Williams, who is being represented by Toombs Judicial Circuit Public Defender Harold Wallace, was informed that he was being taken back to the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center and that he would be arraigned later on the charges against him.

District Attorney Dennis C. Sanders said the postponement was because negotiations between his office and the public defender's office still were taking place as late as last Friday.

"We're in a wait-and-see posture right now," Mr. Sanders said during an interview at his office on Monday morning.

Mr. Williams reportedly still is contemplating with his attorney whether to enter a guilty or not guilty plea. It still is unclear as to whether Mr. Williams will seek a jury trial or if he will request a bench trial. Another option could be that he waive a trial by pleading guilty. If he should take that route, he could be sentenced immediately.

The defendant, who is accused of shooting to death his girlfriend, Linda Mathis, 21, and her sister, Marlo Mathis, 20, who was several months pregnant, is expected to be arraigned in a few days in a hearing room at the county jail, Mr. Sanders said.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Durwood R. Davis will handle the arraignment proceedings.

Mr. Williams 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 McDuffie County Superior Court Clerk Connie Cheatham's office.

The crimes occurred April 30, 2008, at an apartment Mr. Williams shared with Linda Mathis off Cherry Street in Thomson.

Web posted on Thursday, March 25, 2010

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