Cat shooting drew police, drug bust

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A domestic altercation led to a Petersburg man's arrest on drug and weapons charges Saturday evening.

Joe Thomas Williams, 63, of 3176 Hill Road, Petersburg, appeared in General Sessions Court on Tuesday. He was charged with aggravated domestic assault, possession of marijuana for resale, possession of drug paraphernalia, manufacturing marijuana, and unlawful possession of weapons. Williams' total bond was set at $34,000.

According to Marshall County Sheriff's Deputy Tony Nichols' report, Williams' wife called 911 when he started shooting at her cats inside the house with a .357 revolver.

Cheryl Williams fled the residence, and met officers at Cane Creek Church of Christ, where Hill Road meets Highway 129 near Fayetteville Highway.

According to Nichols' report of what the wife told him, the husband had been drinking for two days and when the argument escalated, he told her "he was going to kill all of her cats" and started shooting.

The wife told deputies the general layout of the house, and where to find the husband's marijuana and three guns.

Nichols, joined by Deputies Jerry Harden and Chad Bass, and Cornersville Police Officer Sean Sweeney, approached the residence, spoke to Joe Williams by phone, and persuaded him to come out unarmed.

The suspect asked officers what was going on, Nichols reported, quoting the man as saying "he was just shooting up his own house because his wife had pissed him off."

After he was arrested for aggravated domestic assault and placed in a patrol car, the officers entered the dwelling.

They found a Ruger 10-22 rifle just inside the door, a Rossi .357 revolver with the barrel still hot from being fired, and a fully loaded Hi-Point .380 pistol on the computer desk.

A brown box on the loveseat contained four bags of "marijuana, along with several items used to smoke, weigh and package marijuana," according to Nichols' report.

Inside a closet Nichols found a bag with "approximately 1 pound of marijuana."

At this point, Nichols reported, he went to get a camera from the patrol car where his prisoner asked what was taking so long. Nichols replied that lawmen had found a lot of marijuana.

"That's all mine, buddy, charge me," Thomas is reported to have said. "Look in the room across the hall and you will see my grow room."

The "grow room" contained 25 marijuana plants, with four grow lights and a self-watering system.

The on-call detective was summoned, and Williams was transported to jail.

Nichols recorded more remarks made by Williams in the booking room. According to Nichols, Williams said, "My wife is a bitch and I should have killed her; you should be arresting me for murder," and later threatened to kill her when he got out of jail.