George County sheriff murder suspect pleads not guilty - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

George County sheriff murder suspect pleads not guilty

GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Brandy Williams showed no expressions as she walked into this George County courtroom chained and shackled. She was here to face a capital murder charge for allegedly killing Sheriff Garry Welford.

"This is the most serious crime that a person can face in our jurisdiction," district attorney Tony Lawrence said.

With the slain sheriff's family sitting feet from Williams, the 19 year old whispered to the judge, "not guilty." 

District Attorney Tony Lawrence said he's not surprised about the not guilty plea. 

"Everyone pleads not guilty; an arraignment is just a formal step in the process," Lawrence said. 

Williams has been in jail since last year when she and Christopher Baxter were arrested for the hit and run death of Welford. Baxter also pleaded not guilty to this crime a few weeks ago. 

"She is absolutely not guilty, that was her plea and she's presumed not guilty," defense attorney Andre' de Gruy said.  "I don't know why anyone would question it without having seen any evidence." 

De Gruy maintains Williams innocence in this case and has requested proof she was involved.  "We have made our request for discovery, and we will get the evidence from the state shortly and our investigation and the case will start moving," he said after the arraignment 

As for the Welford family and this community, they just want whoever killed their loved one and law enforcement leader to be brought to justice. 

"I think Garry Welford was just huge part of this community, and did a fantastic job, and he is still missed," Lawrence said. "People come up to me all the time and they talk about what wonderful things he has done for the community."

Lawrence said the first trial date has been set for May 2nd, but he believes it will be delayed. Brandy Williams is also facing grand larceny charges in another case that goes back to 2008.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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