A codefendant and witness in a pair of St. Mary’s County robberies was shot and killed in a D.C. triple homicide in early July, prior to her testimony in the local cases.
Claudette Hope Williams, 56, of Southeast D.C. had signed a plea agreement postponing her sentencing until after trial dates for William Edward Johnson III, 30, a Suitland man who is currently incarcerated on charges including carjacking, kidnapping and attempted first-degree murder in connection with a pair of St. Mary’s robberies.
Williams, who had a temporary sentencing date set in for Tuesday this week when her case was entered as abated by death, was killed in the early morning hours on July 7 in a triple homicide where she was found unconscious in a car with another male, and another male was suffering from gunshot wounds nearby, according to a release from the Metropolitan Police Department.
The three were suffering from gunshot wounds, and showed no signs of life, according to the release. They were later pronounced dead and identified as Williams, Marquise Lewis, 29, of Clinton and Juwan Wade, 20, of D.C.
Johnson is a former Calvert County resident, according to court records, and Williams was a former Hyattsville resident.
In exchange for a lighter sentencing recommendation, Williams had agreed to testify against Johnson, who is accused in charging papers of assaulting an employee of Medinah Auto Sales in Lexington Park after attempting to steal a car battery on Nov. 4, 2017, and the next day allegedly hijacking a car at gunpoint.
“She pleaded guilty to carjacking and accessory after the statute” as part of the agreement, senior prosecutor Daniel White, who is assigned to both cases, said. “She gave a statement involving herself with Mr. Johnson.”
Court papers state she would have testified that she had been present in the Nov. 4 assault and traveled with Johnson, allegedly staying in the duo’s original car as Johnson completed the next day’s carjacking, where he allegedly pointed a gun at a pizza delivery employee and threatened to kill him, forcing him to drive to a wooded location where he stole the car.
Johnson and Williams allegedly traveled in the stolen car together, and Williams was arrested driving the car in Prince George’s County, according to her plea agreement.
The plea agreement also said prosecutors would have recommended a sentence of under 18 months for both convictions following her testimony.
Police in D.C. are still investigating the shooting, where no arrests have been made, according to Brianna Jordan, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department.
“There are no additional details to provide” regarding the investigation, she wrote in response to an email regarding if the homicide was believed to be connected to Williams’ status as a witness.
Those with information on the shooting are asked to contact the metropolitan police at 202-727-9099, or by an anonymous text message at 50411.
Johnson is currently scheduled for a trial in January of next year.