Johnny Lee Williams Receives Consecutive Life Sentences
Johnny Lee Williams will spend the rest of his life in prison for kidnapping and murdering 19-year old Megan Holden.
Thursday, he plead guilty to the crimes. As part of a plea agreement he received consecutive life sentences. He will not be eligible for parole until 2185.
Megan Holden's family addressed Williams Thursday and spoke to the media for the first time.
They were words no family ever wants to say, but for Megan's family, their words to the man who murdered their daughter, helped ease some of the heartache.
"I want this to haunt you, till you realize what you've done completely," said Megan's mother, Sheri Dunlap.
Megan's family had asked while speaking to Williams, they not be photographed. Still the power of their words echoed through the courtroom. Megan's mother made a tearful address to Williams, who made little eye contact with her as she spoke.
"I live alone. My husband I have lost, and my daughter I have lost because of you," she said. "You are (a) selfish person, that I've ever encountered in my life. You care nothing about your own children, your mother your father, my life, my grandchildren, my daughter. You were out for you and no one else."
"I hope when you lay in your cell, these words torment you for as long as they need to for you to see what you did," she said.
Megan's sister expressed her pain for the things she said she will never be able to do with her little sister.
"I'll never get to help her go to class, and be the big sister that I was," said Crisa Kirkpatrick. "It's people like you that have made this world an awful place to be. So I'm glad now that you have to go behind bars and there is one less evil person like you in our society."
A representative of the DA's office read a statement from Megan's father. "You are a liar, and a murderer and a total disgust to society," it said. "You are failure, you are nothing. You are smaller than a grain of sand."
Williams was taken away in handcuffs. He will die in prison. After the trial, Megan's family decided they wanted to address the thousands who have supported them through the trial.
"Thank ya'll," Sheri Dunlap said. "Thank you very much. Thanks to everyone who sent an e-mail or card, that prayed for us, that we did not know about. That supported us."
Part of Williams plea agreement involved a meeting with Megan's family. He had to answer all the questions that had flooded their minds over the past seven months.
"Did she try to get away? Did she cry?" Sheri Dunlap recalled. "Those are answers that no one can give us but the people that were there. She's gone, she can't give me those answers. But Johnny Williams can and he did as much as I feel like he was able to give today, he did."
Megan's mother said knowing Johnny Lee Williams is out of society and behind bars is comforting. But she said his sentence still can't bring back the one thing the family wants more than anything else, Megan.
"God please, help me to get through the rest of these years, without my child," she said.
Williams received the consecutive life sentences after pleading guilty to charges of aggravated robbery, two aggravated sexual assaults, aggravated kidnapping and capital murder.
Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham had wanted to seek the death penalty. He said Williams "speaking with Megan's family" was the ultimate reason he agreed to the plea agreement. Megan Holden's family was able to get whatever amount of closure they needed," Bingham said.
"(Williams) incentive to do the interview was clearly to take the death penalty off the table. I would not have done it if it was just one capital life, but because the family needed that more than...that's what they needed in this case."
Johnny Lee Williams will soon be transferred from Smith County to the state penitentiary. His family made no comment about the trial.
Maya Golden reporting, firstname.lastname@example.org