Saturday, March 1, 2008

Marshals Capture Murder Suspect at Sea

When you're being sought for allegedly murdering someone with your car, who are you going to call? Apparently one Atlanta, Georgia man thought it was a good idea to call a travel agent and attempt a getaway by cruise ship.

Last Thursday, Feb 28th, U.S. Marshals and the U.S. Coast Guard nabbed Derron Williams as he attempted to flee to the Bahamas aboard Carnival Celebration. Earlier in the week, the Atlanta Police Dept. and U.S. Marshals Service began working together to hunt down Williams, who was wanted for intentionally using his vehicle as a weapon to assault a man in Atlanta on Feb 9th. The victim died and Williams was on the run.

The investigators tracked their man to to Jacksonville, Florida and that's where the fun began. Williams and a girlfriend had just embarked on Carnival Celebration, bound for Freeport, Grand Bahama. Quick work by the Marshals and the Coast Guard halted the ship about five miles offshore before it entered international waters. Williams' cruise ended about 7pm when he was taken into custody and transferred to the Coast Guard cutter.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quotes James Ergas, a Supervisory Inspector for the U.S. Marshals Service in Atlanta as saying, "We were a step behind him all day. We missed him at the Atlanta airport. We missed him at his hotel in Jacksonville. By the time we found out where he was, he was already on the cruise ship. We do not know if he was planning to return to the country. But we do know it's a lot easier to leave the country by cruise ship than airplane."

So, the first question that comes to mind is how a fugitive wanted for murder was allowed to board an airplane, let alone a cruise ship. Williams was traveling under an alias, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution report.

There's no word on whether Williams' girlfriend is enjoying her cruise.

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