Wife, friend charged in Dacusville murder



PICKENS — In what he described as “another tremendous tragedy for the Dacusville community,” Pickens County sheriff Rick Clark announced in a news conference Thursday that the wife of a man shot to death last month was one of two people arrested in connection with his killing.

According to Clark, investigators believe that Crystal Gail Williams, 34, of 117 Devon Court in Dacusville, conspired with Marcus Channing Johnson, 35, of 169 Walker St. in Easley, to kill her husband, 38-year-old Shane Ainsley Williams, in an attempt to collect on a $250,000 life insurance policy.

Crystal Williams was charged with murder and criminal conspiracy to commit murder, while Johnson was charged with murder, criminal conspiracy to commit murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Clark said Williams was arrested at the Pickens County Law Enforcement Center while speaking with detectives, while Johnson was arrested at his home.

Although Clark said there was no evidence to indicate Williams and Johnson were in a romantic relationship, arrest warrants state that the two had been “involved in a relationship via various messaging” services.

According to warrants, officers believe Williams unlocked the kitchen door to the couple’s home on Jan. 26 to allow Johnson inside, then woke her husband and told him the fire needed wood. When the man awoke and walked into the living room, officers believe Johnson shot him three times, killing him.

The arrests came as the result of a 10-day investigation, with officers working more than 15 hours a day to solve the case, Clark said.

“We had a hard decision to make — we could make a good case very quickly or choose to take more time and present a better case to (13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins),” he said.

Wilkins said the case qualifies for the  death penalty, but also said consideration would be taken to the implications of pursuing execution.

“There’s a 10-year-old boy who’s a double victim — he lost his father and a mother who has been arrested,” Wilkins said. “We don’t want to do any more harm than what has been done.”