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UPDATE: 'Most dangerous criminal in Charleston' sentenced in man's murder

(WSAZ)
Published: May. 4, 2017 at 10:14 PM EDT
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UPDATE 8/20/18 @ 5:15 p.m.

A man referred to by police as "the most dangerous criminal in Charleston" was sentenced Thursday in a man’s death 15 years ago.

Andre Williamson, who is known as "A3," was sentenced to 15 years for the death of Jody Gray who was shot and killed in 2005.

Williamson was charged with Gray’s murder, but the case was dropped because of a lack of evidence.

A guilty plea earlier this year came in exchange for some other new drug charges being dropped.

Assistant prosecutor Maryclaire Akers says their priority was justice for the victim's family who packed the courtroom, including celebrity pastor T.D. Jakes who has known the victim's father since kindergarten.

“Unfortunately what happened in that courtroom today is happening all over America,” Jakes said. “We have to find a way to live together in more peace and more tranquility. Though it was disturbing, this was Jody's birthday and I think it brought closure."

After the hearing, Gray’s family released purple and gold balloons in his honor.


UPDATE 7/30/18 @ 6:29 p.m.

A man pleaded guilty Monday in connection with a 2005 Charleston shooting death before his trial was to begin in a separate case.

Andre "A3" Williamson was referred to by police as the "most dangerous criminal in Charleston."

The 30-year-old pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of Jody Gray. He was originally indicted in 2006 for Gray's murder but the charge was dismissed without prejudice. He was convicted on a robbery charge.

The most recent case, which was scheduled for trial Monday, had to do with drugs and a weapon and an escape while Williamson was on home confinement. All but one charge, possession with intent to deliver cocaine, was dropped Monday as part of the plea bargain.

Kanawha County Assistant Prosecutor Maryclaire Akers credits Gray's family for seeking justice for their son for more than a decade.

"The victim's family has stayed with it and has never given up hope that they could at least get some sort of justice for what happened," she said.

Gray was shot in the back of the head July 28, 2005. He was found in his Washington Manor apartment.

Akers said getting a plea on Gray's death was the priority.

"It was more important to try and get justice for the people who are missing a loved one than I think an escape charge or even a felon in possession of a firearm charge would be," she said.

When Williamson escaped home confinement last November, Charleston Police Chief Steve Cooper singled him out.

"I consider him to be probably the most dangerous criminals that we have in Charleston," Cooper said at the time.

Williamson faces 3 to 15 years behind bars when he is sentenced by Kanawha County Circuit Judge Charles King on Sept. 20.

UPDATE 12/4/17 @ 4:20 p.m.

The man referred to by police as the "most dangerous criminal in Charleston" is awaiting his indictment.

Andre Williamson, known on the streets as A3, was arrested two weeks ago after Charleston Police say he cut off his ankle bracelet.

He was caught with a semi-automatic handgun in his waistband. On Monday, Williamson made a court appearance for the violation.

Awaiting indictment, he'll remain behind bars on a $500,000 cash-only bond.


UPDATE 11/16/17 @ 2:10 p.m.

A man with a lengthy criminal history is back behind bars after skipping out on his home confinement.

Charleston Police arrested Andre Williamson, known as A3, Friday morning along Malden Drive.

Williamson was on home confinement, but police say he cut his ankle bracelet Thursday night.

When officers found him, Williamson had a semi-automatic handgun in his waistband.

Williamson is a convicted felon with charges including malicious assault, wanton endangerment and being a felon in possession of a weapon.

Charleston Police Chief Steve Cooper previously confirmed that Williamson was previously a suspect in a murder case where the charges were dropped because of a lack of evidence.

Chief Cooper referred to Williamson as the most dangerous criminal in Charleston.


UPDATE 9/1/17 @ 9:25 a.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man Charleston police have been looking for since May is now behind bars.

Andre Williamson was arrested in Parkersburg Thursday.

Williamson was wanted for possession of crack cocaine and being a felon in possession of a gun.

Charleston Police say when they searched Williamson's home on May 4th, they found the drugs and a gun, but he was gone.

Police say Williamson has been convicted of multiple violent felonies in the past and has a history of carrying guns.

Williamson is being detained at the North Central Regional Jail.


ORIGINAL STORY 5/4/17

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Police say Andre Williamson, 29, of Charleston, is armed and dangerous and they are looking for help to find him.

Williamson is wanted for possession of crack cocaine and being a felon in possession of a gun.

Thursday morning, officers searched his home along Clay Avenue. They recovered a gun and crack cocaine.

According to Charleston Police, Williamson has a lengthy criminal history.

Charleston Police Lt. Steve Cooper confirms that Williamson was a suspect in a murder case where the charges were dropped because of a lack of evidence.

In another case, he was charged with accessory to murder. While in jail, he was charged with assaulting a prison guard.

Most recently, he was wanted in connection with a shooting on July 4, 2016, at the Monkey Barrel Bar on a wanton endangerment charge.