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Attorney: Accused Deputy Killer Was Beaten by Police During Arrest

What to Know

  • A motion to suppress statements made by the accused killer of a sheriff's deputy has been filed in a Maine court.
  • The suspect's attorney requests the court to throw out any statements made by John Williams after his arrest due to "coercive tactics."
  • Williams pleaded not guilty to murder.

A motion to suppress statements made by the accused killer of a sheriff's deputy has been filed in a Maine court.

According to court documents, the suspect's attorney requests the court to throw out any statements made by John Williams after his arrest due to "coercive tactics in violation of due process."

Williams is charged with the murder of Corporal Eugene Cole of the Somerset County Sheriff's Office. His attorney said that during his arrest, officers "beat and pummeled him to the point of causing him to defecate himself."

Williams' attorney said photos show that Williams was severely injured during his arrest. 

The attorney claims Williams was convinced he would "continue to be beaten and traumatized by overzealous police officers, who apparently felt justified in their treatment" of him.

Williams' attorney said his client "was not physically and mentally able to provide a voluntary statement to detectives due to his withdrawal from opiates," which they claim made him incapable of advocating for himself or making important decisions, and thus his statements made after his arrest "were not voluntary under Maine and federal law."

On the April day when Williams was due in court in Massachusetts on firearm charges, police say Williams shot Cole in the head in Norridgewock. Williams allegedly stole Cole's cruiser, stole cigarettes and water from a nearby gas station, abandoned the cruiser on Martin Stream Road and hid in the Norridgewock woods for days.

"I'm very confident in the state's case," said Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese. "I believe we will prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, and we will be asking for a life sentence."

In the courtroom during his arraignment in June were several people supporting John Williams, including his girlfriend Kristina Pomerleau. She was with Williams when he was arrested on drug charges in Massachusetts, and she was arrested by Cole days before the murder.

With Pomerleau was Williams' mother, Marge Williams. She said her son looks much different now because he is sober, and that drugs played a large role the night Cole died.

Williams' attorney, Verne Paradie, said his client is in "good spirits." He said they are waiting on results of a court-ordered mental health evaluation.

Williams pleaded not guilty to murder.

He is being held without bail. Paradie said after reviewing the state's evidence, he will decide if he should ask for a bail hearing.

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