Suspect in sheriff’s death has youthful offender status hearing next week

Suspect in sheriff’s death has youthful offender status hearing next week
William Chase Johnson at his initial appearance in court. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

LOWNDES COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - The next hearing date for the suspect charged in the death of Lowndes County Sheriff Big John Williams is set for March 8, according to court records.

The hearing comes after attorneys for William Chase Johnson filed an application for youthful offender status for their client.

Johnson was 18 when he was charged in Williams’ shooting death in 2019.

Johnson was indicted in January on a single capital murder charge. Court records show Johnson filed a motion for youthful offender status days later.

Johnson’s attorney have also requested the prosecution notify them on whether they will seek the death penalty.

The shooting happened on the night of Nov. 23, 2019. The sheriff responded to a Hayneville gas station, identified himself, and asked for the loud music coming from Johnson’s vehicle to be turned down, according to court records.

According to the indictment, a grand jury found Johnson intentionally shot Williams while he was acting in his official capacity as sheriff.

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