When a loved one is taken away under violent circumstances, the pain can be unimaginable. And when someone who suffered the loss gets the chance to face the person responsible, it is hard to fathom the heightened emotions. One convicted murderer in Ohio found himself physically feeling a tiny fraction of the pain he had inflicted on his victim’s family.
Dale Williams faced a judge to begin his sentencing on Thursday afternoon. Williams confessed to the shooting of his ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Pledger-Stewart. In June 2017, Williams waited nearly 45 minutes for Pledger-Stewart to ride past him on her way to work. When she did, he ran her off a busy road in Youngstown. He then proceeded to shoot and kill her on the sidewalk during rush hour.
“In fact, a lot of people who were driving down to the courthouse to start work that day had seen some of it,” attorney Dawn Cantalamessa said.
Williams was malicious not only in his execution of the attack but also the planning, as he even picked out what he was going to wear to perform the killing, According to WKBN 27. He tried to plead insanity but was found competent enough for trial. He pleaded guilty in May.
As Pledger-Stewart’s family was about to give their impact statements at Williams’ sentencing, news cameras captured two men, Anthony Dees and Jerome Stewart — Pledger-Stewart’s sons — suddenly attacked Williams. As loud crying and screaming filled the air, officers fought to keep Dees and Stewart from getting to Williams, but the sons had already made their way to him with one hanging onto his feet and the other attempting to punch him in the head.
Officials finally tasered Stewart, who could be heard yelling in pain. Other family members who were present were asked to leave the courtroom. Williams was eventually pulled onto his feet and taken back to the jail. Both sons were arrested and Stewart told officers, “he killed my mother,” as he was put in handcuffs.
“Our deputies there intervened. We had extra officers in the courtroom to begin with,” Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene said. “I’m sure they knew that there were some tensions with this sentencing hearing. From everything I can see, the officers acted appropriately. In fact, did a pretty good job, in my opinion.”
Dees and Stewart were held and charged with contempt of court with other charges pending. Williams’ hearing has yet to be rescheduled.
Watch the full video below of the courtroom brawl.