Murder suspect’s criminal history leaves many questions
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Authorities are working to find 22-year-old Elijah Williams and 20-year-old Thomas Office — the pair are accused in connection with the shooting death of 28-year-old Jared Pelletier.
The shooting took place on April 30 on Prospect Street in Shreveport’s Highland neighborhood. But many are questioning why Williams was not behind bars due to what he was accused of doing a year ago, and even after being arrested just weeks ago on a separate incident with an active bench warrant on the books.
Williams, who is wanted on a charge of principal to first-degree murder in Pelletier’s death, has a long history of arrests, including one in April of 2021 for kidnapping, aggravated battery, and other charges.
“I don’t know how I held on for that long,” explained Madison Wilder who says Williams grabbed her arms, holding her through an open window of his car, while he was driving recklessly through a Shreveport neighborhood.
Wilder says problems with Williams, who was once a roommate with her boyfriend, had begun weeks before, one time leading her to call 911 after she says he threatened her.
However, she says Shreveport police officers told her they wouldn’t be able to do anything to him if she didn’t have proof.
So she claims the next time he began acting aggressively toward her, she whipped out her phone to record him. That was in April of 2021.
Wilder told police, that Williams fought with her over her phone, damaging it and slamming her into the side of his car. She says she leaned near the passenger side window of his car to ask the passenger to call 911, Williams hit the gas pedal and took off.
“Before I could think, he grabbed my arm and drove off with me hanging out.”
Wilder says this continued for blocks with her holding on for her life.
She says Williams eventually stopped, let her go, and she got away.
A check of court records shows Williams was charged with simple kidnapping, battery with a dangerous weapon, property damage, and obstruction of justice.
However in January 2021, he accepted a plea deal, and all charges were dropped except for felony property damage. Ultimately, Williams was told to pay $100 and his sentence was suspended.
“I was shocked,” Wilder shared. “I was confused why he was out and nobody reached out to me.”
Wilder says this entire time she thought he was behind bars for the incident from April of 2021, and she had no clue he was out running the streets until she saw he was now wanted in connection to a murder.
When asked if the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s office called to inform her that Williams’ most serious charges were being dropped and why — Wilder said it never happened.
In an email received late Friday, May 6, Wilbert Pryor, a special assistant to the Caddo Parish Assistant district attorney wrote:
The email continued, claiming a representative from the DA’s office, “spoke directly to the victim before the plea” and that she was in agreeance.
However, Wilder maintains the only contact she had was by someone from the DA’s office who texted her, stating they would get Williams to pay for her phone, which she says never happened.
On April 4, 2022, the DA’s office explained that Williams failed to show up for what is called an ‘execution of sentence’ hearing, which is a post-sentence hearing where fines and court costs are paid. Then, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
Just 8 days later, Williams was arrested shortly after he took off running from a hit-and-run near the intersection of Youree Drive and Southfield Road in Shreveport.
His arrest was captured on camera when Williams unknowingly nearly ran into a KSLA news crew while being chased by a good samaritan and police officers.
When asked why wasn’t Williams kept behind bars then since he had an active bench warrant issued just 8 days earlier, Pryor only stated in his email response:
As for why his April 12 arrest didn’t trigger a revocation of his probation, Pryor blamed the State of Louisiana Department of Probation and Parole, stating that they failed to submit a revocation petition which would have allowed the DA’s office to hold a hearing concerning his probation.
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