The Times-Tribune

Boy pleads guilty to bloody assault of elderly woman


A 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty Monday in Wayne County to charges he stabbed and sexually assaulted an elderly woman more than a year ago.

Azaiah Tahir Williams of Coolbaugh Twp. may face as many as 50 years in state prison, a $75,000 fine, and must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life upon his release for the bloody Sept. 24, 2015, attack that began as a knock on the door.

The Times-Tribune does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Mr. Williams, who was 15 at the time of his arrest, knocked on the 83-yearold woman’s door in Dreher Twp. and let himself in, state police charged. He stabbed her five times along her neck,

abdomen and back with a steak knife, took her credit card and sexually assaulted her.

“Yes, I raped her,” he told state police, according to charging documents.

In a statement read in court Monday, District Attorney Janine Edwards described a scene of sheer violence that awaited the investigat­ors who responded. The victim was “soaked in blood from her head to her waist,” Ms. Edwards read. The elderly woman was dressed only in a sweater and underpants. She was put in a medically induced coma and rushed into surgery. She has since recovered physically from the stabbing, though she was not at court Monday.

Initially, state police charged Mr. Williams with attempted homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and theft. The plea entered Monday admits guilt to attempted homicide, which carries a maximum of 40 years in prison, and sexual assault, which carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, Ms. Edwards said.

The decades he potentiall­y faces in prison caps the effort of Ms. Edwards’ office to have him tried in adult court.

In the months following his arrest, the prosecutio­n and his public defender, Richard Henry, battled in court to determine if he was amenable to treatment in the juvenile system, which can only keep an offender incarcerat­ed until the age of 21. Judge Raymond Hamill in October ruled he would be tried as an adult.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 9 at 9:30 a.m.

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