Georgia man to serve life sentence for killing of Fort Gordon military police officer
By SANDY HODSON | The Augusta Chronicle, Ga. | Published: December 9, 2018
(Tribune News Service) — An Augusta man who said he just wanted to tell his side about what happened was again convicted of murder and aggravated assault in the shooting of two Fort Gordon military police officers, one of whom died.
Erik A. Williams Jr., 29, was convicted by a Richmond County Superior Court jury Friday afternoon of the murder of 25-year-old DeAngelo Hudgins and the wounding of Albert Gilbert on July 18, 2010. Williams' prior conviction was reversed in October 2016 for improperly admitted evidence.
"It is just so unfortunate," said Chief Judge Carl C. Brown Jr., who sentenced Williams to life in prison without parole plus a consecutive 30 years in prison.
On the night of the shooting, Hudgins and Gilbert went to a party with Hudgins' girlfriend and several of her friends. Hudgins left with the women and, on the way home, he and Shardae Davis got into an argument that turned physical. Hudgins restrained Davis, which upset her brother Tony Davis, who threw a couple of punches at Hudgins.
Tony Davis and the women left Hudgins on the roadside and went to Sanctuary Apartments. Hudgins called Gilbert for a ride, and they went to the apartment complex because Hudgins wanted to talk to Tony Davis about what happened. But Davis didn't want to talk and had called his friend Williams to come help. When Williams and Edwin Cruz arrived at the complex, Williams had a gun.
"It was a mistake," Williams told the judge Friday. He said he hadn't intended to kill anyone and fired because he was scared.
"I'm not an animal. It was a mistake. Don't treat me like a murderer. I'm not a thug. I'm a human being," he said.
In asking the jury to convict Williams on Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Simon Williams, no relation to the defendant, said that while Georgia has a "stand your ground" law, it isn't a loophole for murder. In the end, Williams took a gun to a fistfight and shot two unarmed men, the prosecutor said.
Gilbert left the service not long after the shooting. His walking and running is still affected. Hudgins' death has left a huge hole in the lives of his family and friends. He was a well-respected soldier who held himself to the highest standard of conduct while always showing respect and compassion for everyone he came into contact with, Joshua Campbell wrote in a letter read to the judge Friday.
For his father and stepfather who attended every day of the trial, the loss of such a loving and kind man is felt deeply every day, they said. He brought joy and happiness on a daily basis, Freddie Wells told the judge.
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