By Stan Welch
Jared Michael Williams faces a total of twenty criminal charges, most in connection with a killing spree he allegedly went on last Wednesday. Williams’ girfriend, Hope Kristian Phillips, facing three charges of accessory after the fact of murder and a murder charge in connection with the death of one of the three victims.
At a press conference held two days after the triple homicide shooting in Pelzer, Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper enumerated many of the charges filed against Williams, WM, 32, of McAlister Road in Williamston.
Williams led a bevy of assorted law enforcement officers on a high speed chase from Pelzer to Piedmont Wednesday afternoon, before crashing the stolen vehicle he was driving into a house on Highway 86 inside the Piedmont town limits.
Williams is charged with the murders, by multiple gunshots, of Victor Vandegrift, Hank Eaton, and the murder of Wanda Anderson by a single gunshot. All three murders, as well as the attempted murder of Tara Hendricks, occurred at a home at 104 Law Street.
Hendricks, wounded twice, hid beneath a bed briefly before escaping and fleeing to a nearby home, where she called police.
West Pelzer Police Chief Mike Clardy told The Journal that Williams had outstanding warrants related to the theft of financial transaction cards and was also a person of interest in several auto theft instances in the area.
“We didn’t have enough on the car thefts to get a warrant, but we were very interested in asking him some questions,” said Clardy. “Unfortunately, before we were able to locate him, these senseless killings took place.”