A 24-year-old Little Rock man, charged with a quadruple shooting in November 2018 that left three dead, has accepted a 55-year prison sentence.
Sentencing papers filed Friday show Joshua Milik Williams pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder, each reduced to first-degree murder, to killing 19-year-old LaTija Luckey, 19-year-old Carrington Williams and Kennelle Dewond Anderson, 20 years, about a week before Thanksgiving 2018.
Joshua Williams, identified as a suspect by police about two weeks after the murder, was arrested in January 2019 in San Diego, where he was confronted by police for failing to pay for a streetcar fare, authorities said. Investigators said he appeared to have lived on the streets there.
When Little Rock detectives questioned him in California, he said he knew nothing of the murders and denied being in Arkansas when they happened.
The victims were found in an overturned black 2018 Jeep Renegade in a drainage ditch in the 4400 block of West 14th Street. The owner of the Jeep had died while the two women later died in hospital. Anderson was from Hot Springs and both women were from Little Rock.
The police had been called to the street because a teenager, injured in both legs, had come to a house to seek help.
Police said Braelyn Eskridge, then 17, was shot eight times. Eskridge told investigators he was walking when two unidentified men rushed towards him and began shooting, according to court documents. Police found a trail of blood from where Eskridge was found to the wrecked Jeep.
Inside the Jeep, police found a loaded 9mm pistol and ammunition along with dozens of ID cards, social security cards and bank cards that did not belong to the victims, documents show. judicial.
A witness told police he saw two men, one wearing a red hoodie with long hair and the other in a tan jacket with short hair, walking east on 14th Street . The two stopped to speak to someone in a black Jeep, then the long-haired man opened fire as the second man fled.
Investigators also found the Jeep matched the description of a vehicle involved in the robbery of a woman at the Sunshine Mart, 3525 John Barrow Road, about an hour before the murders.
Surveillance video shows Carrington Williams attacking the woman, Kalya Ramish Parham, as Luckey grabs her purse before fleeing. Parham, 26, was the girlfriend of Joshua Williams, police say.
In a later interview, Parham told police that the thieves took her purse, with her cell phone inside, so she called him to try to retrieve it, further stating that she had been involved in a “financial fraud scam” with Anderson, one of the murder victims, according to court documents.
Parham told police she had met Anderson, but he wanted more money than she had for her property, so she did not retrieve her purse, identifying it as the one found in the wrecked Jeep.
When police attempted to question him about the murders, Parham initially refused to answer questions. She said she had not been in the area of the murders, but investigators noted that the shoes she was wearing when she was robbed were found near the crime scene.
Parham told police her shoes were taken in the robbery, but detectives noted that she did not report them stolen when she reported the holdup.
During a series of subsequent interrogations, Parham told investigators she was in the Jeep with the others while trying to retrieve her purse and phone, according to court documents. Parham said she was trying to buy back her stolen purse and cellphone, but Carrington Williams also wanted her gun back, a gun Parham said she stole from Carrington Williams about six weeks earlier, according to court records.
Parham said her boyfriend had the gun and Carrington Williams, using Parham’s phone, called him to arrange for the gun to be recovered.
Parham described to police how the group in the Jeep met on a street corner with Joshua Williams and a second man with long hair. She said an argument erupted when Joshua Williams denied having the gun stolen, followed by gunfire from two guns.
Parham said she saw Eskridge flee the Jeep and then fall in front of a house as she got out of the vehicle and ran, leaving her shoes behind, according to court records. Parham said Joshua Williams later threatened to kill her if she spoke about what she saw.
During police questioning, Eskridge, the survivor of the shooting, said that Luckey was his girlfriend and that along with the other victims, they went to the Sunshine Mart where the women attacked a woman with who they had “beefed up” over a stolen gun, taking woman’s purse and cellphone, court documents show.
The woman called to say she would trade the gun for her purse and phone. Eskridge said her group picked up the woman and directed them to her boyfriend, who she said had the gun, according to court documents.
When they encountered the man, who was with another man, an argument broke out and the other men began shooting, Eskridge told police, describing how he got out of the Jeep and ran. He identified Williams as one of the shooters but could not recognize photographs of other parties allegedly involved.
A first-degree battery charge against Williams, linked to Eskridge, was dropped by prosecutors after Eskridge stopped cooperating with authorities, court records show.