Capital murder suspect in death of sheriff appears in court

William Johnson makes second court appearance

LOWNDES COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - The suspect in the shooting death of Lowndes County Sheriff John “Big John” Williams appeared in court Wednesday for the second time.

William Johnson, initially charged with murder, has now been charged with capital murder. He was brought to Lowndes County under heavy guard for his 1:30 p.m. court appearance. He was handcuffed and chained at the waist.

WSFA 12 News counted nine deputies in the courtroom during the hearing.

In court, Johnson nodded when asked if he understood the capital charge against him. The judge denied him an opportunity to make bond, and after the three minute appearance, Johnson was escorted out of the courtroom and taken back to the Elmore County jail, where he is being held.

There were no family members from either side in the courtroom during Johnson’s brief hearing.

District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer said no decision has been made on whether to seek the death penalty in this case. The court appointed attorney Robert Troy Teague to represent Johnson.

The next step in the legal process is the preliminary hearing which could take place sometime before Christmas.

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