Suspect in Lowndes County sheriff’s death denied bail

Suspect in Lowndes County sheriff’s death denied bail

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Capital murder defendant William Chase Johnson’s request for bail has been denied by a newly appointed judge.

Johnson is charged with a capital offense in connection to the shooting death of former Lowndes County Sheriff “Big John” Williams on Nov. 23.

The Alabama Supreme Court recently appointed retired Circuit Judge Bert Rice of Escambia County to preside over the case.

In late August, Rice held his first hearing in the case to take up the issue of bail. During that hearing, the defense asked the judge to set bail in this case due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent judicial delays.

The defense argued Williams didn’t identify himself and he wasn’t wearing clothing that indicated he was a law enforcement officer as he attempted to clear a gas station parking lot in Hayneville prior to the fatal shooting.

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

Johnson’s case was bound over for grand jury consideration in January. During that preliminary hearing the case agent said Johnson admitted he killed Williams with a 9mm Glock.

Johnson’s case is expected to go before a grand jury in early 2021.

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