LAWTON — A Fort Sill soldier pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree murder for starving to death his girlfriend's 10-year-old son.
The U.S. Army private, Connell C. Williams, 33, will be sentenced to life in federal prison without the possibility of release.
“I am guilty of charge and want to avoid the death penalty,” he told the judge in his plea paperwork.
In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors withdrew their request for the death penalty. The plea ended a jury trial after two days of testimony.
The murder victim, Marcus Holloway, died May 5, 2011, of severe malnutrition. The boy weighed 44 pounds at the time of his death.
“Marcus was a 10-year-old boy who was robbed of his life and subjected to a horrific and agonizing death by starvation,” U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats said. “Although nothing can bring Marcus back, I am gratified that Connell Williams has accepted responsibility for his crime. By pleading guilty, he will be in a federal prison cell for the rest of his life and never again harm a child.”
The boy's mother, Candice C. Holloway, 32, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder last year and agreed to serve 30 years in federal prison.
She and Williams lived together in military housing at Fort Sill. Both are from Virginia.
She testified against Williams for hours on Friday.
Williams admitted in his plea that he and the boy's mother had restricted the boy's food as punishment.
“I saw that this was causing a decline in his health. Marcus died as a result of this decision. This was child abuse,” he wrote.