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Case of Decatur man accused of gunning down neighbors now heading to trial

Case of Decatur man accused of gunning down neighbors now heading to trial

Joseph Luckee Vincent Williams


DECATUR — Joseph Luckee Vincent Williams failed to convince a judge there was insufficient evidence to try him on charges he tried to shoot to death two of his Decatur neighbors.

Williams, 22, appeared in Macon County Circuit Court Wednesday, pleading not guilty to two counts of attempted first degree murder in the Aug. 30 violence that erupted near the 700 block of East Clay Street.

Williams, who represented himself in court, also told Judge Phoebe Bowers that he was also pleading not guilty to two additional counts of aggravated battery involving the discharge of a gun and two counts of being a felon who possessed and fired a weapon. He also denied a further charge of the aggravated unlawful use of a gun while having a previous weapons conviction.

Bowers found probable cause to try him on all charges and scheduled a pretrial hearing for Nov. 5 before fellow Judge Jeffrey Geisler.

Earlier, giving evidence against Williams, Decatur Police Detective Ben Massey said officers arriving on scene the day of the shooting found a woman slumped inside the front door of a house and located a man lying out back. Both had been shot multiple times.

“And did the (woman) state it was a neighbor of hers who shot them?” asked Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott. “Yes,” said Massey, who said Williams was later identified both by the female victim and the male victim. The detective explained that the male did not know the shooter’s name but was able to pick him out of a photo line-up.

No mention of a motive for the attack was given in court testimony.

Williams then asked Massey if the police had obtained surveillance camera footage of the shooting suspect and Massey said they had. He then asked if witnesses had described the shooter wearing a COVID face mask and Massey said they had, and then confirmed police had also used distinctive tattoos to identify the suspect.

Williams then raised the subject of a gun recovered from his home: “Was it the attempted murder weapon used in this crime?” he asked. The detective replied that the weapon was still being analyzed by the State Police Crime Laboratory.

Williams also mentioned his alibi evidence, which claimed he was with his girlfriend when the shootings took place. “Did the police department check to see if that statement was true?” he asked.

Massey said police had checked with the girlfriend and she confirmed he had been with her the night the shooting took place. “She did say that, but she didn’t give a specific timeframe,” the detective replied.

Williams is being held in the Macon County Jail with bail set at $500,000, meaning he must post $50,000 to be released.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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