As I mentioned yesterday, I'm the new guy here at the Seattle Weekly. I'm also from Tacoma, meaning I've already spent a significant chunk of time trying to reassure my new coworkers that T-Town isn't as dangerous, gross and/or crime-infested as they've been led to believe. Sadly, stories like the murder and dismemberment of 54-year-old Wayne Williams aren't really helping my cause.
Police in Tacoma were called to a house in the 2300 block of Tacoma Avenue South last Wednesday, according to reports finding Williams' partially-dismembered body stuffed into garbage bags upon arrival. Police soon charged 27-year-old John Jones with first-degree murder in the case, which he pled not guilty to Monday.
According to The News Tribune, drawing from recent court filings in the case, prosecutors allege Jones and Williams were doing drugs together in Williams' bedroom at the time of the murder - a manual strangulation which likely occurred March 18 or 19. Jones shared the house with his mother, brother and uncle, though none of them suspected anything horrific had occurred until Wednesday of last week.
... Court papers allege that John Jones, who was charged with murder in the case Monday, not only removed the victim's legs and head with a handsaw, but also one arm.
Jones, prosecutors theorize, was trying to cut 54-year-old Wayne Williams into small enough parts that he could load the body into multiple garbage sacks and carry them out of his home for disposal.
Before he finished the job, however, Williams' decaying body began to smell, and Jones' mother called police.
According to court filings, Jones' family members who shared the residence rarely entered his room, deeming it his "exclusive domain." Family members also didn't think it was strange for Williams to visit, telling police he'd visited Jones at the home several times before.
Jones initially told police that he didn't know how Williams was murdered, saying he'd simply woken up after a period of heavy drug use to find the body in his room. He contended that the crime might have been committed by drug dealers or gangs, though authorities tell The Tribune no evidence of this scenario was found and no outsiders had access to the room.
Yesterday Pierce County Superior Court set Jones' bail at $1 million.