David A. Williams
The man who police say started a house fire that killed three children on Monday will be let out of jail to attend a private service for the kids on Sunday, if Greene County deputies have the manpower to transport him.
David Alan Williams, 26, Springfield, was formally arraigned on first-degree arson with injury or death charges Thursday via video link from the Greene County jail. Williams pleaded not guilty to the charges, then asked Judge Mark Powell to either lower his $250,000 bond, or let him out of lockup long enough to attend the funerals of his fiances children.
Part of the conditions of Williams temporary release from jail is that he have no physical contact with anyone and that he be immediately returned to the county jail following the one hour furlough. His bond will remain in place.
Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott issued the following statement this afternoon:
The Greene County Sheriff’s Office will not have adequate staffing onSunday, March 21st, to facilitate the transport of inmate David Williams to a private funeral service. Associate Circuit Judge Mark Powell ruled Williams could attend the private service if the Sheriff’s Office had enough staff to transport Williams to and from the service while notallowing contact with anyone other than law enforcement.
There will be no further comments regarding this by the Sheriff’s Office.
Alexis M. Watson, 7, and Devin L. Watson, 4, died Monday morning at St. John's hospital. Terry Watson Sr., remains in a burn unit there. Kelsey Watson died Monday evening after doctors declared her brain dead and her mother had to make the excruciating decision to remove her from life support.
The children's mother, Violet Watson, says in a raw interview that she does not believe that the man she loves had any involvement in the fire that claimed their lives. She says Williams was the best father they ever knew.
Public funeral services for the Watson children are scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday at Klinger-Cope funeral home in Springfield. Terrie Watson Sr.'s condition has been upgraded to serious. He remains hospitalized in the burn unit at St. John's.
Williams preliminary hearing has been set for May 3rd at 10 a.m.