Megan Holden: What Really Happened?

Published: Jul. 9, 2005 at 3:30 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 9, 2005 at 11:05 PM CDT
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The chilling Wal-Mart Surveillance tape, showing the abduction of 19 year old Megan Holden has been all that most of us really know about Megan's final hours, until now. For the first time, Smith County District Attorney, Matt Bingham can share, in detail, what happened the night Megan was kidnapped and later murdered. He can do that, because the murderer told him the details.

As part of a plea agreement to avoid the death penalty, Johnny Lee Williams, Jr. sat down with the victim's family and the DA for more than five hours. He told them, in great detail, what he had done with Megan, beginning in that store parking lot, just before midnight on January 19, 2005. The following is what DA Bingham told KLTV 7 News about his interview with Johnny Lee Williams, Jr. Williams had just been dropped off at a gas station by a friend, about a mile from the Super Wal-Mart on Tyler's west side.

Bingham: "He walked to the Wal-Mart where he walked around the store, where he sat outside. At the time Megan Holden comes out, he has the firearm on him, no ride home. He's told us he's needing to get out of town. He's got a crack cocaine case pending against him. He gets Megan Holden when she comes out as you saw on the video. As she gets to the car, he demands her keys. She says, 'don't hurt me,' gives him the keys and goes to a location on FM 2015, where we found a shirt she was wearing. He dumps a lot of stuff out of her vehicle at that location but does not sexually assault her. He, there again, smokes more marijuana. From there he goes to his trailer house that's near his parents'. At the trailer house he sexually assaults her. We find her DNA on the headboard, and on other items in his home. He's there for about 3 hours or so. From there he begins to move out of Smith County. He arrives into Odessa at about 10:30 a.m. At 11:00 he checks into a hotel in Odessa, where he again sexually assaults her. AT 7:00 p.m., he's driving back toward Tyler and he's told her at that point, 'I'm going to take you back to Tyler.' She has been compliant with him out of fear. She's tried not to make him mad. He's got a firearm. He's twice her size. She's thinking they're going back to Tyler. He makes a 180 (degree turn) on an exit. He says he's going to fill up with gas. She says 'where are you going?' At that point she hits him in the face. He says that causes him to lose control. He reaches over, grabs her by the throat, opens up the passenger side door, pushes her out and climbs out of the vehicle. He then chokes her. She goes limp. He walks back to the car and gets his .45 caliber Laser Max handgun puts it into his waste band. Walks back over to her, grabs her by the arms, pulls her up that embankment and shoots her...he thinks two to three times in the head. He doesn't know how many times. After he shoots her, he goes about 30 minutes later and eats a cheeseburger. He says his stomach was empty. Shows you just what a monster he is. He goes back, robs the "Uncle's Food Store" at 8:15 p.m. The next time he's involved in a criminal conduct is at the Mt. View Trailer Park in Arizona where he attempts to rob that gentleman there and the gentleman shoots him. Johnny Lee Williams, Jr. is able to get to the hospital there and as he's getting treatment, there's an officer that sees the truck has been put on a BOLO (be on the lookout). He goes in, sees Williams get out of the truck. They take him into custody at that point. I think Megan Holden did the best she could do. I think, obviously, if she had had some way to fight him (she would have). But he is a large individual. Megan Holden is a very small individual a very sweet girl, working hard to go to school. So if Megan could have found a way not to be pushed into the vehicle, I think she would have fought him. When she found out she was not going back to Tyler, she had the courage to take her little fist and hit that monster in the head. So she clearly had fight in her. And I think Megan Holden did everything she could possible do to save her life. As he (Williams) put it in the interview, she was a victim, trying to stay alive." (End Transcript of report.)

Bingham had wanted to seek the death penalty against Williams. He says ultimately, it was more important to Megan's family, to get the details of what had happened to their loved one. That, he says, was the reason he agreed to the plea agreement that will keep Johnny Lee Williams, Jr. in prison for the rest of his life.