PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WRBL) — The man accused of the brutal rape and murder of a Columbus five-year-old girl was in an Alabama courtroom this afternoon.
Jeremy Williams is facing the death penalty for allegedly killing Kamarie Holland.
Williams appeared in front of Circuit Court Judge David Johnson and his attorney Chuck Floyd gave a hint on the strategy they will use.
Williams pleaded not guilty by reason of a mental defect or mental disease to four capital murder charges involving the murder, kidnapping, and rape of Kamarie Holland.
He is also charged with human trafficking, abuse of a corpse, and production of child pornography.
The little girl’s mother, Kristy Siple is facing murder and human trafficking charges in connection with her daughter’s death.
Williams will undergo psychological testing.
Cameras are not allowed in Russell County courtrooms. Williams was escorted in and not long after he got settled, his mother and brother came into the courtroom.
For minutes, they sat 15 feet away from each other – not saying a word on orders from the deputies.
When Judge Johnson began to read the horrendous details of the alleged crimes, Williams’ family members became emotional, at times burying their faces in their hands.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Rick Chancey told the court the state was ready for trial, hoping to take it to a jury before the end of the year.
“We’re ready for trial,” said Rick Chancey, chief assistant Russell County district attorney. “We have got everything we need. The witnesses. We got everything we need to go to trial as soon as we get a court date.”
Defense attorney Chuck Floyd does not believe it.
“They know it’s not ready for trial,” Floyd said. “There are so many more capital murder cases in this county ready for trial and there is so much to be done in this case. But, that’s fine. We will do what we have got to do to make sure his constitutional rights are protected. And he’s given due process of law.”
The defense was raising concerns about a lack of discovery. Chancey said there was one graphic videotape in particular that the prosecutor asked that Floyd view in his office.
Johnson put it on the docket for August. The judge said it was more a placeholder, acknowledging the case would not be ready for trial at that time.