State: Witnesses say Sheriff Big John Williams identified himself before being killed

Lowndes County sheriff’s murder suspect requests bond

LOWNDES COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - The suspect charged in the shooting death of Lowndes County Sheriff Big John Williams appeared in court Thursday.

William Chase Johnson’s defense attorneys argued for bond to be set in his capital murder case.

The new retired judge who was appointed to preside over the case heard their arguments.

The defense argued that Williams didn’t identify himself, he wasn’t wearing clothes identifying himself as law enforcement and his blue lights weren’t on when he was attempting to clear a gas station parking lot on the night of Nov. 23.

Despite Johnson being 18 at the time of the shooting, the defense argued he was a child who had a large Kermit the Frog in the passenger seat of his vehicle.

The attorneys said they would follow any restrictions and pay for ankle monitoring to get Johnson a bond.

The state said it isn’t typical to ask for leniency in a capital case.

The state said they could offer testimony, based on witnesses, that Williams identified himself as the sheriff, and Johnson reportedly said “I don’t give a f---.”

The defense then argued that due to the virus and judicial delays, Johnson should also be considered for bond.

The newly appointed judge will review the transcript from Johnson’s preliminary hearing. We can expect a ruling from him in mid September. The ruling will either be to bring everyone back to court for more testimony or an actual ruling on bond.

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