Vigil held for anniversary of Lowndes County sheriff’s slaying

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 10:24 PM CST
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HAYNEVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - Residents held candles outside the Lowndes County Courthouse Tuesday to remember the third anniversary of when their former sheriff, John “Big John” Williams, was shot and killed.

“It’s amazing to see his impact and how big he stretches. It’s not here in Lowndes County or Montgomery County, but the state of Alabama and all over,” said Cpl. Prince Williams with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office

The candlelight vigil was held on the Hayneville town square, just feet away from the gas station where Williams was fatally shot in 2019.

It was a day that left a hole in this community. People said Williams loved the residents, adding that his service was not in vain. The current sheriff, Christopher West, pledged to never forget him.

“It’s not often that you can find people that’s willing to put their life on the line for their community, for their county, for their state, for their country,” said West.

The late sheriff’s loss is still being felt across the area. While he is gone, he has inspired a new generation of law enforcement officials.

“Without him, I wouldn’t be here today doing what I do, so it really, really kind of touched me to the core,” Williams said.

The man accused of killing the sheriff is William Chase Johnson. He is expected to go to trial in October 2023.

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