A 35-year-old Stafford man who shot both of his parents, killing his mother and injuring his father, has been sentenced to 45 years in prison, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“When we think of domestic violence, we also need to think about elder abuse because it can escalate to murder just as fast as other forms of domestic violence,” Ogg said. “With more than half a million people over the age of 65 in Harris County, we have to stay vigilant about vulnerable elderly people being hurt or taken advantage of by someone they love and trust.”
Joshua C. Williams shot his 72-year-old father with a shotgun in the early-morning hours of Aug. 24, 2021. His mother, 64-year-old Cathy Williams, called 911 for help. She was on the phone with a 911 operator as her son chased her through the house and shot her twice with the shotgun.
She was pronounced dead at the scene, and her husband was taken to the hospital and survived. Williams was at the home in the 11200 block of Mulholland Drive in Stafford when police arrived and detained him. He told police that his parents were involved with organized religion, which he did not agree with, and were acting “weird” and that it needed to stop.
On Wednesday, Williams pleaded guilty to murder and to aggravated assault of a family member with a deadly weapon. He must serve at least half of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. As part of the plea agreement, he cannot appeal his conviction or the sentence.
Assistant District Attorney Joseph Frank, who works in the District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Division, said Williams’ father did not want to testify.
“There really is no greater crime than killing or attempting to kill your parents,” Frank said. “The 911 call is heartbreaking and there is no doubt that he is guilty, but the agreement spares his father the pain of having to relive the crime in court and hopefully provides a degree of closure.”
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