Detroit, MI – Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Talon released an accused cop killer on a $10,000 bond and the officer’s family, Detroit police, and the community are furious.
Detroit Police Department (DPD) Chief James Craig told WDIV that he wanted to know why a man accused of having murdered Detroit Police Sergeant Elaine Williams during in an act of domestic violence had been released on such low bond.
“I wish that judge explained to this family and DPD family why that was done. Please let us know,” Chief Craig said.
Eddie Ray Johnson Jr. stands accused of having shot Sgt. Williams to death at the home they shared in Garden City at 11:45 p.m. on June 2, 2019, WXYZ reported.
His trial has been repeatedly delayed due to the pandemic.
Chief Craig said Sgt. Williams, a 14-year veteran of the police force, was shot five 5 times, WXYZ reported.
Johnson was Sgt. Williams’ live-in domestic partner and the couple had a five-year-old son together.
The police chief said Johnson took the little boy out of the house before he returned to fatally shoot his mother, WXYZ reported.
But Sgt. Williams’ 12-year-old son was in the house when his mother was shot, WDIV reported.
He said prosecutors filed a lengthy brief to try and stop Johnson’s pre-trial release, but the judge ruled the accused cop killer could go home on 10 percent of a $100,000 bond ($10,000), and a GPS tether, which are usually the conditions given to non-violent offenders.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has appealed Johnson’s release, WXYZ reported.
Keisha Kemble, Sgt. Williams’ sister, criticized the judge’s decision to release her sister’s killer.
Kemble told reporters after the hearing that Talon hadn’t had “to look at my 5-year-old nephew and tell him his mother was dead. And watch the tears roll out of his eyes,” WXYZ reported.
“Her life was worth more than any bail amount and definitely more than $10,000,” she told WDIV.
Sgt. Williams led a “colorful, positive career” during her time with the DPD, and was quickly approaching her third anniversary as a sergeant when she was murdered, Chief Craig said during a press conference after the sergeant was killed.
He said she was also vigorously studying for the department’s lieutenant’s exam.
“I would describe Elaine as…a rising star in the police department,” Chief Craig continued. “She was certainly someone that was going to lead this organization…there’s no doubt in my mind, she would’ve been one of our next lieutenants.”
With her positive, outgoing spirit, Sgt. Williams was even known to have been a bright spot during some difficult days in Chief Craig’s own career, he said.
“She was loved not only by every police officer that she had the opportunity to work with, but also the community,” he added. “The community loved her.”
Sgt. Williams, who had two young sons, was assigned to the major crimes unit at the time of her death.