Prosecutor says judge’s state is ready for trial in brutal murder of 5-year-old Kamarie Holland

PHENIX CITY, Alabama (WRBL) — The man charged with the brutal rape and murder of a five-year-old Columbus girl was in an Alabama courtroom this afternoon.

Jeremy Williams is facing the death penalty for allegedly killing Kamarie Holland.

Williams appeared before Circuit Court Judge David Johnson and his attorney Chuck Floyd gave a hint about the strategy they will use.

Williams pleaded not guilty by reason of mental retardation or mental illness to four counts of capital murder involving the murder, kidnapping and rape of Kamarie Holland.

He is also accused of human trafficking, abuse of a corpse and production of child pornography.

The little girl’s mother, Kristy Siple, is facing murder and human trafficking charges in connection with her daughter’s death.

Williams will undergo psychological testing.

Cameras are not permitted in Russell County courtrooms. Williams was escorted out, and soon after he was installed, his mother and brother entered the courtroom.

For minutes they sat 15 feet apart – not saying a word on the orders of deputies.

When Judge Johnson began reading the gruesome details of the alleged crimes, Williams’ family members became emotional, sometimes burying their faces in their hands.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Rick Chancey told the court the state is ready for the trial, hoping to have it before a jury before the end of the year.

“We are ready for trial,” said Rick Chancey, chief assistant district attorney for Russell County. “We have everything we need. Witnesses. We have everything we need to go to trial as soon as we have a court date.

Defense attorney Chuck Floyd doesn’t believe it.

“They know it’s not ready for trial,” Floyd said. “There are so many more capital murder cases in this county ready to go to trial and there is so much to do in this case. But it’s good. We will do what we have to do to make sure his constitutional rights are protected. And he enjoys due process.

The defense raised concerns about a lack of discovery. Chancey said there was one particular graphic videotape that the prosecutor asked Floyd to see in his office.

Johnson put him on the roll for the month of August. The judge said it was more of a placeholder, acknowledging that the case would not be ready for trial at that time.

Elna M. Lemons