Matthew Williams Probable Cause Documents

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A 19-year-old man is accused of killing animals to prepare for a murder spree, probable cause documents say.


E-FILED IN COUNTY CLERK'S OFFICE PIERCE COUNTY, WASHINGTON July 26 2011 11:38 AM 1 2 3 4 5 6 SUPERIOR COURT OF WASHINGTON FOR PIERCE COUNTY STATE OF WASHINGTON, Plaintiff, vs. MATTHEW GARRETT WILLIAMS, CAUSE NO. 11-1-03010-7 KEVIN STOCK COUNTY CLERK DECLARATION FOR DETERMINATION OF PROBABLE CAUSE Defendant. 7 STEPHEN M. PENNER, declares under penalty of perjury: 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 That I am a deputy prosecuting attorney for Pierce County and I am familiar with the police report and/or investigation conducted by the LAKEWOOD POLICE DEPARTMENT, incident number 111890211; That the police report and/or investigation provided me the following information; That in Pierce County, Washington, on or about the 4th-5th and 8th days of July, 2011, the defendant, MATTHEW GARRETT WILLIAMS, did commit the crimes of ASSAULT IN THE SECOND DEGREE, FELONY HARASSMENT, ANIMAL CRUELTY IN THE FIRST DEGREE, WEAPONS APPARENTLY CAPABLE OF PRODUCING BODILY HARM – UNLAWFUL CARRYING OR HANDLING, DANGEROUS WEAPONS, ACTUAL PHYSICAL CONTROL OF A MOTOR VEHICLE WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE, and UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE – FORTY GRAMS OR LESS OF MARIHUANA. On July 8, 2011, at approximately 0740 hours, Lakewood Police officers responded to a report of a subject passed out behind the wheel of a car at the intersection of 108th St SW and Lakeview Ave SW in Lakewood, Washington. When they arrived they observed the subject, MATTHEW G. WILLIAMS, seated in the driver's seat apparently unconscious. The vehicle was in the lane of travel. WILLIAMS was wearing a black mask and sunglasses, and had a pellet rifle across his lap. Officers had information from an earlier call that a person matching WILLIAMS' description had fired a pellet rifle toward a man waiting at a nearby bus stop. Officers ordered WILLIAMS from the vehicle. He was initially non-compliant and repeatedly lowered his right hand from view. Several officers contacted WILLIAMS but he resisted the officers and a struggle ensued. Officers were able to extract WILLIAMS from the car and detain him. The rifle was examined and found to be a .22 caliber air rifle. However there was .22 caliber firearm ammunition in WILLIAMS' vehicle. WILLIAMS explained that he had just purchased the air rifle from Walmart but had mistakenly thought it to be a firearm rifle. The air rifle had a pellet in the firing position. On the back seat floor of WILLIAMS' vehicle there was a rifle scope and a large black machete. In the dashboard storage area was a Ziploc baggie containing 0.9 grams of green leafy vegetable matter which field tested positive as marijuana. WILLIAMS was eventually processed for DUI and provided breath samples of .109 and .122 within two hours of being in the driver's seat. DECLARATION FOR DETERMINATION OF PROBABLE CAUSE -1 Office of the Prosecuting Attorney 930 Tacoma Avenue South, Room 946 Tacoma, WA 98402-2171 Main Office (253) 798-7400 11-1-03010-7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 DECLARATION FOR DETERMINATION OF PROBABLE CAUSE -2 Office of the Prosecuting Attorney 930 Tacoma Avenue South, Room 946 Tacoma, WA 98402-2171 Main Office (253) 798-7400 Officers advised WILLIAMS of his Constitutional rights and he agreed to be interviewed. During the interview WILLIAMS stated that he was preparing to murder people. He stated that he had been increasingly strong desires to murder people and that he had been taking steps to prepare himself to carry out the murders, including steps to "desensitize" himself to murder. These steps included: • • • He had identified a particular victim type, to wit: homeless people and/or "average" white men with no family connections. He had killed 5-7 birds and squirrels, mutilating their bodies. He had gone online and watched videos of people being tortured and killed. WILLIAMS further stated that he enjoyed the "God-like" feeling he got when he tortured and killed an animal, knowing that he was inflicting pain and in control of the creature's life. WILLIAMS also stated that he admired several serial killers, especially Ted Bundy for his ability to murder so many people while appearing outwardly normal. WILLIAMS stated that he wanted to kill many people, but not all at once, He wanted to kill and get away with it so he could kill again. He stated that the only reason he had not started murdering yet was that he hadn’t figured out how to get away with it. He said he planned to lure his victims to his house, then stab them to death. WILLIAMS stated his homicidal impulses are growing and he doesn’t believe he will be able to contain them much longer. WILLIAMS agreed to go to Western State Hospital for a voluntary commitment. Officers searched WILLIAMS' room and located a knife with possible blood on it, and graphically violent stories WILLIAMS had written about murdering people. Officers are in the process of obtaining search warrants to search WILLIAMS' home and computer for additional evidence of the steps preparatory to murder which WILLIAMS stated he had made. On July 23, 2011, Detecive A. Lee recontacted WILLIAMS in the jail. During that conversation, following advisement of Constitutional rights, WILLIAMS admitted that he had shot the air rifle "at" the man standing at the bus stop ( ) and not at some nearby birds as he had originally claimed. He stated he had lied about the birds because he thought he would be in more trouble if he told the truth. He stated he did not actually want to hit Mr. Overbey with a pellet, but rather wanted to put him in fear because he wanted to see how he acted when in fear. WILLIAMS also explained that he had killed his father's cat on July 4th while his father was out of town. He stated that he attempted to kill the cat with his bare hands, but it was taking too long so he bludgeoned it to death with a large flashlight. He then put the cat in his car for a few days. Eventually he took the cat's body to a remote cul-de-sac where he burned the body with the aid of lighter fluid. WILLIAMS drew a map for Det. Lee. Det. Lee went to the area and located a small patch on the road where something had apparently been burned. In the debris were the burned bell and buckle of a cat collar and a broken piece of ceramic. The ceramic fit a nick out of a ceramic pepper shaker still at WILLIAMS' father's residence. Det. Lee also located a witness who lived in the area and who stated he had seen the burned cat carcass prior to it disappearing (likely taken by local wildlife). 11-1-03010-7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 An examination of WILLIAMS' father's residence showed several fresh dents in the wall with grooved markings that matched the grooves on the head of the flashlight. It appears WILIAMS had to chase the cat in order to strike it enough times to kill it, in the process breaking the ceramic pepper shaker. I DECLARE UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY UNDER THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON THAT THE FOREGOING IS TRUE AND CORRECT. DATED: July 26, 2011 PLACE: TACOMA, WA /s/ STEPHEN M. PENNER S.M. PENNER, WSB# 25470 DECLARATION FOR DETERMINATION OF PROBABLE CAUSE -3 Office of the Prosecuting Attorney 930 Tacoma Avenue South, Room 946 Tacoma, WA 98402-2171 Main Office (253) 798-7400