Murder victim's mom speaks out on delays in case - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Murder victim's mom speaks out on delays in case

GOSNELL, AR (KAIT) - It has been 11 months since 11-year-old Gosnell resident Jessica Williams was murdered. Her body was discovered in a ditch near Big Lake.

Since then, two men have been charged. Christopher Sowell is charged with her murder and Freddie Sharp III is charged with rape in connection to the case. Both men are out on bond. 

Jessica's mother, Sherry, told Region 8 News that she is at her wits end over what she calls a lack of progress in her daughter's case.

"It just don't make no sense...to just keep letting a murderer walk the street and give them another chance to kill another child," Sherry Williams told Region 8 News.

Jessica Williams should have turned 12 on July 18.

"She likes horses, dogs, her favorite color is purple," Williams recounts. "She wasn't hard to get along with at all."

Instead of celebrating another year, her mom is left with memories.

"That's the little puppy that she had with her," Williams said, pointing to a picture. "They found the puppy, that's what led us to her."

Williams said the past 11 months have been horrible for the whole family.

"My mom and dad, phew, it's rough on them," Williams said. "It's hard to go to sleep. At night, your mind starts wandering and then you start to thinking, her last words was 'I'm gonna tell my daddy what you're doing to me.'"

According to court documents, Christopher Sowell, the 17-year-old accused of murdering Jessica, told police he pushed her off the bridge because he became angry with Jessica. Sowell went on to say she got back up, saying she would tell her father what happened. 

Sowell told police that's when he became more angry and grabbed Jessica by the throat until he saw her get "wide-eyed."

Sherry said what makes the situation worse for her family, is knowing Sowell and Sharp, the men charged in connection to her murder and rape, are out of jail, awaiting hearings that continue to be postponed.

"It's pathetic the way that we've gotta go through this," Williams said.

Williams said she was at her wits end Monday as she learned that proceedings were pushed back again.

Sowell and Sharp are to both have their next court appearance this fall.

"That's too long. That's still too long. It's just dragging on and on and on," Williams said.

Williams said she wonders how much more her family can take in waiting for justice to be served.

"I hope they at least get life...maybe not death but life. I want them to suffer cause I know she did."

Both men's cases have been continued to October. Christopher Sowell, the 17-year-old charged with murdering Jessica, has a tentative trial date for the first week of November. Information surrounding Jessica's death is limited because of a gag order on the case.

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