Williams found to be competent to stand trial for women’s death

A psychologist at the Arkansas State Hospital has found that a Monticello man accused of murdering a Warren woman last year and burying her remains behind his home is competent to stand trial.

Fred Lee Williams, 51, stands charged of first degree murder and abuse of a corpse in connection with the April 2013 death of Tangela Walton, 36. 

“Although Williams has a documented history of mental illness (depression), he did not manifest symptoms of mental disease at the time of the alleged murder,” said Lacey C. Willet, a licensed forensic psychologist and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry. “While it is possible thar Williams experienced some depressive symptoms in the relevant time frame, there is no evidence that he experienced mood symptoms that rose to the level to be considered a mental disease under state law.”

In her official report to the court, Willet did note that Williams attempted suicide, which resulted in hospitalization, but added that the attempt was not made immediately before officers were planning to arrest him and well after the alleged offense.

According to 10th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Deen, was arrested on April 14, 2013, by the Arkansas State Police after leading officers to a shallow grave, near his home, located in the 800 block of Maria Place in Monticello, where the remains of Walton were found.

Walton had been reported missing by her family on April 5 after she failed to return home and according to Warren Police Chief Randy Peek, the Arkansas State Police were called in when the investigation led outside the city limits and across county lines.

Peek said that leads came in on the case from as far away as Greenville, Miss.

When a connection was made tying Walton and Williams together (they were described to police as being boyfriend and girlfriend)a joint investigative effort between the Monticello Police Department, the Warren Police Department and the Arkansas State Police led to Williams’ arrest. Judge Kenny Johnson set Williams’ bond at $150,000 during Monday’s initial appearance.

According to Deen, the State’s Bond Recommendation, sent to the court through WPD Detective Don Hollingsworth, was $250,000.

Deen said that the first degree murder charge and the abuse of a corpse charge will be filed in Drew County, where the offenses allegedly occurred.

“No trial setting has been made at this time, but unless a change of venue is granted, the case will be handled in Drew County,” he said. “The Warren Police Department has been kind enough to assist because the victim was from there and that is where the investigation started.”

Deen added that he would have to wait for the autopsy results from the State Crime Lab before a final decision on charges could be made.

Walton was the mother of three children.

In a separate, unrelated case, Williams is also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

“The felon in possession charge was filed in Drew County on April 15,” he added.

The Advance Monticellonian will continue to cover this case as it moves forward.

The Advance-Monticellonian

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