DECATUR — A judge presiding over a bench trial is weighing the evidence to decide whether Lamar T. Williams is innocent or an enraged killer who went on a Decatur shooting spree that left a grandmother dying in front of her grandchildren.
Decatur police officers kicked in the front door of 69-year-old Mary E. Bond’s home in the 1400 block of East Moore Street on the night of Nov. 24, 2020, to find her slumped on the living room couch, bleeding heavily from a head wound.
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Testifying at Williams’s trial Monday in Macon County Circuit Court, Officer Ryan Wicks said a 5-month-old baby, Bond’s granddaughter, lay next to her on the couch, mercifully uninjured.
He said Bond had a bullet wound near her right eye and was unresponsive and struggling to breath. She died from the injury in a hospital a few days later. She had been hit by bullets fired into her house from the street outside.
Wicks said he found two little boys in the house, also grandchildren, and one of them had managed to call for help after his grandmother was shot. The boy had the presence of mind to notify an alarm company using an emergency contact app on his grandmother’s phone.
“The boy called in saying his grandmother had been shot in the head,” said Wicks.
Sworn police affidavits accuse Williams, 46, of pumping seven bullets into Bond’s home. He was described as being on a rampage, targeting homes of people associated with a girlfriend who had earlier taken a gun from him that he wanted returned. Bond is the girlfriend’s grandmother.
Police said he had warned of his intentions to attack the girl’s loved ones if his gun wasn’t returned with a series of threatening messages. A voicemail he left with his girlfriend just before the shootings started said: “You gonna call me in a minute. Those you love the most. Watch this.”
The affidavits said Williams struck first at 9 p.m., shooting up a house in the 500 block of South Webster Street, the home of a woman Williams believed had taken the gun from his girlfriend.
Bond was shot in her home at 9:30 p.m. and then about 9:44 p.m. a series of shots were fired near a house in the 500 block of West Main Street, the home of a man who is the father of a child belonging to William’s girlfriend.
Less than half an hour later, a home in the 1000 block of South Martin Luther King Jr. Drive was hit by five bullets. This was the house of the girlfriend’s mother and a 72-year-old man inside the residence was shot and wounded in the hand.
Assistant Macon County State’s Attorney Sydney Niebrugge told Presiding Judge Thomas Griffith the weight of the evidence and the witness testimony was clear: “... And by the end of the testimony I believe the state will have proven their case that the defendant committed all these acts on that night and should be found guilty of all counts.”
Williams is pleading not guilty to three alternate charges of murder and a charge of being an armed habitual criminal. He also denies three counts of the aggravated discharge of a firearm and a charge of aggravated battery involving firing a gun.
His defense attorney, Susan Moorehead, said she wasn’t about to dispute the terrible night of shootings happened. “And there is no question that unfortunately Mary Bond was struck by a bullet and killed,” she added.
“The issue is whether or not the people (prosecutors) can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Lamar Williams was in fact the person that fired those shots … the people’s case is, at best, circumstantial. I believe at the close of the evidence the court will find that there is reasonable doubt …”
The trial continues and is expected to take two days.