Johnny Williams, 61, was ordered held without bond yesterday on a charge of first-degree murder in the slaying Wednesday of a member of an eviction crew who was fatally shot as he and deputy U.S. marshals attempted to evict a family from their Northwest Washington home.
D.C. Superior Court Judge Fred B. Ugast refused to set bond for Williams, a security guard, calling the shooting "something reminiscent of the frontier days . . . that shows a total disregard for every aspect of the court system and is totally unacceptable in a civilized society."
Donald Granderson Jr., 24, was killed when a single bullet fired from a rifle pierced his heart. According to a federal prosecutor, Granderson at the time was using a mallet to remove the doorknob on the front door of the house at 1529 Spring Pl. NE after marshals got no response from repeated knocks.
Williams' wife, Mildred, and a son, Bruce, who were in the house during the incident, were not charged.
According to a police affidavit entered in court yesterday, Williams, who was seven months away from retirement as a $300-a-week security guard at the Naval Medical Command in Bethesda, told police: "They were going to put me and my family and property on the street. I've worked too long and too hard. I couldn't let that happen to me."
According to court documents, the eviction was ordered after the Williamses failed to pay their $325 monthly rent in November and December. Granderson, an employe of Inpersonam Service Inc., an Arlington eviction company, was sent to the house to repossess the property on behalf of the landlord, R.A. Walker & Associates Inc.
City records show that Williams and his family had been living in the house since 1969, when he purchased it. According to a property deed, the Williamses sold the house last August to Rita A. Walker, owner of Walker Associates.
An attorney for Walker, Rick Boddie, said in an interview that the sale "accurately reflects that Mrs. Williams knew they were having financial difficulties and wanted someplace to live and didn't want to have to look for someplace else."
Boddie said the Williamses have not paid rent on the house since October. In February, he said, they attempted to make a partial payment of $140 on the balance due but Walker refused, deciding to go through with the eviction.