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27 Mississippi lawmakers ask parole board to reverse decision to release James Williams III

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Over two dozen Mississippi lawmakers are calling for members of the parole board to reverse their decision to release double murderer James Williams, III., who is set to be released in less than one week.

In a letter addressed to Chairman Jeffery Belk, 27 legislators from Mississippi’s House of Representatives expressed their disapproval of Williams’ release after only serving time for two decades.

Williams was initially sentenced to serve two life sentences without the possibility of parole in 2005, four years after murdering his father, James Williams, Jr., and his stepmother, Cindy Lassiter Mangum Williams.

Now, nearly 20 years after his sentencing, the parole board has approved Williams’ release, stating that they believe Williams “is able to be a law-abiding citizen and that parole supervision will be more beneficial than further incarceration.”

The board added that the decision came after the family missed a recent hearing earlier this month — even though family members claim to have never received a notification on the meeting — as well as Williams’ undergoing a “moral rehabilitation” through his attainment of a GED and his work as a Christian minister.

Lawmakers recount the entire process of the two victims’ deaths in the letter, stating that Williams’ “methodical plan to kill and dismember his own family shows the true nature of this individual.”

“The very nature of his crimes shows not only his will to carry out the murders, but the premeditation stage of planning the poison first, then moving on to shooting them and finally the stage of dismemberment and disposal of their bodies to avoid detection,” the letter details. “No crime of passion can be claimed, no momentary lapse of control, and no blackout scenarios.”

The letter continues, saying that despite being 17 years old at the time, Williams knew what consequences he would face for murdering his parents.

“His victims are two-fold, those he shot and dismembered, and those who live daily with the loss of family he took away. We feel it would be a miscarriage of justice and contrary to the best interest of the citizens of the state of Mississippi, as well as the two victim’s families, to grant parole. We urge the Mississippi Parole Board to rescind the parole order for James Williams, III.,” the letter concludes.

Here’s the full list of representatives who signed the letter:

  • Becky Currie
  • Lester Carpenter
  • Mark Tullus
  • Randy Boyd
  • Troy Smith
  • Price Wallace
  • Tracy Arnold
  • Dan Eubanks
  • Dana McLean
  • Jerry Darnell
  • Dale Goodin
  • Donnie Scoggins
  • Hank Zuber
  • Jerry Turner
  • Timmy Ladner
  • Stacey Wilkes
  • Carolyn Crawford
  • Vince Mangold
  • Tom Weathersby
  • Chris Brown
  • Jill Ford
  • Randy Rushing
  • Brady Williamson
  • Steve Hopkins
  • Shane Aguirre
  • Kevin Felsher
  • Billy Adam Calvert

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