John Daniel Williams, the fugitive who was the target of a manhunt Wednesday night in the killing of a Maine sheriff’s deputy, had been freed on sharply reduced bail by a Massachusetts judge after his arrest on gun charges.
The fugitive who remained the target of a manhunt Wednesday night in the killing of a Maine sheriff’s deputy had been freed on sharply reduced bail by a Massachusetts judge after his arrest on gun charges, the Boston Herald reports. Police say John Daniel Williams, 29, of Madison, Me., fatally shot Somerset County Sheriff’s Cpl. Eugene Cole, 61, early yesterday morning in Norridgewock, Me., then took off in his marked cruiser, robbed a convenience store, and disappeared. Williams had been due to appear in a Massachusetts court on gun charges yesterday.
Williams was arested in Massachusetts March 22 by state police, who said they found him after his car went off Interstate 495. He was glassy-eyed and slurring his words, with an illegal handgun, ammo and large-capacity magazine in the trunk, as well as several bags of white and brown powder police suspected were drugs. Prosecutors asked for $10,000 bail. Williams had burglary and theft convictions on his record and faced drug charges in Tennessee dating to 2008. A judge reduced the bail to $5,000. Because prosecutors did not request a dangerousness hearing for Williams, a judge could not lawfully consider his potential threat to public safety in reaching his decision. “Given his lack of ties to the community and the fact that his prior record did not contain acts of violence, we felt that $10,000 was an appropriate amount,”said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, spokeswoman for District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.