In the years since West Seattle’s only tiny-house encampment, Camp Second Chance, set up on the Myers Way Parcels, it’s been mostly low-drama. This week, though, a mention emerged in court documents for a previous accusation against the man charged in last Sunday’s double murder in Georgetown. LIHI, which has the contract to operate CSC, sent its Community Advisory Committee members – and us – this email about the situation today:
We wanted to inform you of two serious incidents that occurred by the same person who was a previous client of Camp Second Chance. One of these happened at Camp Second Chance and the other at LIHI’s Martin Court Apartments, which provides transitional housing for homeless people in Georgetown.
1) On August 15, John Williams, a client at Camp Second Chance at the time, had assaulted other clients. LIHI called SPD and he was arrested by police for these assaults and permanently exited from the site. We recently learned from a news report last night that in addition to these assaults, on July 18, Mr. Williams allegedly committed an attempted rape of a guest who came to the site with him. Please note that while the media reported this, it has not been confirmed with us by SPD. There were no reports brought to our attention about this incident.
2) On Sunday, Oct. 30, this same person, John Williams, accompanied a resident to her apartment at Martin Court. The police have him in custody as a suspect for allegedly brutally killing this resident and a guest of hers in the apartment. John Williams is not a resident of Martin Court. SPD was able to find and arrest John shortly after the tragic incident. We are fully cooperating with SPD and the investigation is still underway. Grief counseling is being provided for our residents and staff and traumatic leave offered for our building staff.
We are devastated by these terrible incidents and working closely with clients, residents and site staff to support them in the grieving process and recovery from trauma through counseling and other means. We have taken measures to increase safety and staffing.
Unfortunately there has been an increasing number of crimes and violent incidents at our sites, which is being experienced across the region by other non-profit providers, businesses, and neighbors. We are meeting with SPD soon to discuss these incidents and ways we can partner more closely together on addressing violent criminal behavior that impacts our sites, residents, clients, and staff. We are encouraging SPD to more consistently support the safety of our villagers and staff by allowing us to fully enforce our code of conduct and its zero tolerance policy on violence and helping us exit clients in violation who pose a safety risk.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says that Williams was arrested July 19th in the attempted rape case, and that bail was initially set at $75,000 – half what prosecutors asked for – but that he had to be released three days later because SPD had not sent the documents needed to file charges (and still has not).
Then, after the August 15 arrest mentioned above, he spent eight days in jail, according to online records. Less than two weeks after that, he was arrested September 3rd for assault and weapons charges that were prosecuted by the City Attorney’s Office; he served his sentence and got out last Friday, two days before the Georgetown murders. What we don’t know is whether the August 15th arrest and “exit” was the last time he was at Camp Second Chance; we have followup questions out to LIHI. Williams remains in the King County Jail, held without bail.
Meantime, the next Community Advisory Council meeting for Camp Second Chance is next Tuesday (November 8th), online at 6 pm, and as always, all are welcome – we’ll have connection/call-in information in the daily preview list that day, and in our event-calendar listing as soon as it’s provided.