Teen charged with mur­der

17-year-old one of two sus­pects held in deadly home in­va­sion

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Carl Hessler Jr. [email protected]­tu­ry­media.com @mont­co­court­news on Twit­ter

NORRISTOWN >> A Pottstown teenager, orig­i­nally charged with rob­bery for his role in a home in­va­sion that re­sulted in the gun­shot slay­ing of a bor­ough woman, saw charges up­graded to mur­der and will be pros­e­cuted as an adult.

Cam­ren Xavier Wil­liams, 17, of the 800 block of North Franklin Street, was ar­raigned Fri­day be­fore Dis­trict Court Judge Ed­ward C Kropp Sr. on charges of crim­i­nal homi­cide, rob­bery, con­spir­acy to com­mit rob­bery and pos­sess­ing an in­stru­ment of crime in con­nec­tion with the 6:40 p.m. Nov. 18 gun­shot slay­ing of Sylvia Wil­liams, 38, in­side a res­i­dence in the 300 block of North Washington Street.

With the gen­eral homi­cide charge, au­thor­i­ties al­leged Cam­ren Wil­liams in­ten­tion­ally, know­ingly, reck­lessly or neg­li­gently caused the death of Sylvia Wil­liams. The gen­eral homi­cide charge po­ten­tially could in­clude var­i­ous grades of homi­cide in­clud­ing sec­ond- and third­de­gree mur­der or man­slaugh­ter.

Cam­ren Wil­liams and the vic­tim were not re­lated, of­fi­cials said.

With the charges, au­thor­i­ties al­leged Cam­ren Wil­liams was an ac­com­plice of Aaron Joseph Tay­lor, 18, of the first block of West Sec­ond Street, Pottstown, who al-

leg­edly fired the fa­tal shot. Cam­ren Wil­liams also was armed with a gun dur­ing the home in­va­sion, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments, and is charged with homi­cide un­der ac­com­plice li­a­bil­ity the­o­ries.

Tay­lor pre­vi­ously was ar­raigned on charges of sec­on­dand third-de­gree mur­der, rob­bery, con­spir­acy to com­mit rob­bery and pos­sess­ing an in­stru­ment of crime in con­nec­tion with the al­leged in­ci­dent.

Tay­lor and Cam­ren Wil­liams each face pre­lim­i­nary hear­ings on the charges at 1 p.m. Dec. 18 be­fore Kropp.

Sec­ond-de­gree mur­der, a killing committed dur­ing the course of an­other felony, such as rob­bery, car­ries a manda­tory sen­tence of life im­pris­on­ment upon con­vic­tion. Third-de­gree mur­der, a killing committed with mal­ice, car­ries a pos­si­ble max­i­mum sen­tence of 20 to 40 years in prison.

At the time of Tay­lor’s ar­rest, Dis­trict At­tor­ney Kevin R. Steele said tips from the pub­lic as well as video sur­veil­lance cam­eras in the home and in the bor­ough helped solve the crime.

“If peo­ple are think­ing about com­mit­ting crimes in Pottstown, they should know that there is an in­tri­cate cam­era sys­tem through­out the bor­ough. Com­mit a crime and count on it be­ing cap­tured on cam­era,” said Steele, who an­nounced the ar­rests with bor­ough Po­lice Chief Michael J. Markovich.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan about 6:43 p.m. Nov. 18 when bor­ough po­lice re­sponded to the res­i­dence to in­ves­ti­gate the ac­ti­va­tion of a se­cu­rity alarm. As of­fi­cers ar­rived at the scene, they ob­served a male jump from the sec­ond floor of the home and he told po­lice that his girl­friend, Sylvia Wil­liams, was in­jured and still in­side the res­i­dence.

When po­lice en­tered the res­i­dence they found Sylvia Wil­liams, with a bleed­ing wound to her head, dead in a sec­ond-floor front bed­room.

At the time they ar­rived on the scene, po­lice also ob­served a light-col­ored com­pact car leav­ing the area at a high rate of speed, ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint filed by county De­tec­tive John Wit­ten­berger and Pottstown De­tec­tive Mark Wick­er­sham.

An au­topsy de­ter­mined Sylvia Wil­liams died from a gun­shot wound to the head and her death was ruled a homi­cide.

Sylvia Wil­liams’s boyfriend told de­tec­tives he was on the sec­ond-floor of the res­i­dence when he heard yelling. As he started to de­scend the stair­well to the first-floor, Sylvia Wil­liams’s boyfriend ob­served a male, wear­ing a mask and armed with an au­to­matic hand­gun, ac­cord­ing to the ar­rest af­fi­davit.

Ac­cord­ing to de­tec­tives, the vic­tim’s boyfriend said he ran to his bed­room, which also was oc­cu­pied by the vic­tim, and he closed the bed­room door, hold­ing it closed with his feet while ly­ing on the floor. Sylvia Wil­liams then handed her boyfriend an alarm re­mote and a panic alarm was ac­ti­vated, de­tec­tives al­leged.

Sylvia Wil­liams then as­sisted her boyfriend in hold­ing the door shut.

“(The boyfriend) stated the sus­pect tried to get into the bed­room by strik­ing the door be­fore (the boyfriend) heard one gun­shot,” Wit­ten­berger and Wick­er­sham al­leged in the ar­rest af­fi­davit.

The boyfriend re­ported it “got quiet,” fol­low­ing the gun­shot and he no­ticed the vic­tim was not mov­ing and was bleed­ing from her head, ac­cord­ing to the ar­rest af­fi­davit.

Three other peo­ple, in­clud­ing two ju­ve­niles, also were in­side the home at the time of the shoot­ing, court doc­u­ments in­di­cate. One of the wit­nesses, a re­pair­man who was chang­ing the front door lock, told de­tec­tives two armed males en­tered through the door while he was chang­ing the lock.

One of the masked men pointed a gun at the re­pair­man and stated, “stay where you are,” ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint. The re­pair­man stated he heard a com­mo­tion up­stairs and heard a “pop,” court papers in­di­cate. The two armed males then fled the res­i­dence.

A wit­ness told de­tec­tives he over­head one sus­pect ut­ter, “there ain’t noth­ing here” as they left the res­i­dence.

De­tec­tives learned Sylvia Wil­liams’s boyfriend had a home sur­veil­lance sys­tem that cap­tured the home in­va­sion and shoot­ing on video­tape and pho­to­graphs of the sus­pects were re­leased to the pub­lic as au­thor­i­ties sought to iden­tify the al­leged cul­prits.

A re­view of sur­veil­lance footage from Pottstown street cam­eras re­vealed a light-col­ored Honda Civic was ob­served in the area at the time of the homi­cide. De­tec­tives traced the ve­hi­cle to a Read­ing ad­dress and sub­se­quently linked Cam­ren Wil­liams to the ve­hi­cle.

When he was in­ter­viewed by de­tec­tives, Cam­ren Wil­liams ad­mit­ted to par­tic­i­pat­ing in the home in­va­sion rob­bery with Tay­lor. The teenager claimed he and Tay­lor tar­geted the res­i­dence be­cause they be­lieved the home was that of a “big drug dealer,” how­ever, they left with­out any cash or prop­erty, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

Cam­ren Wil­liams told de­tec­tives he was armed with a BB pis­tol and Tay­lor was armed with a Ruger .22-cal­iber pis­tol. A pro­jec­tile re­trieved from the vic­tim’s body was con­sis­tent with that of a .22-cal­iber, de­tec­tives al­leged.

Cam­ren Wil­liams told de­tec­tives he re­mained on the first-floor of the res­i­dence while Tay­lor went up­stairs. The teenager said he watched Tay­lor fire a sin­gle gun­shot while on the sec­ond-floor stair­way, ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint.

The teenager told po­lice that dur­ing the get­away he dis­carded the pis­tol, shoes, jacket and the T-shirt which was used as a mask to cover his face, ac­cord­ing to the ar­rest af­fi­davit.

Wil­liams

Tay­lor

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