Stafford man who killed mother, injured father over religious beliefs sentenced to 45 years in prison: DA

Joshua Cordell Williams, 35 (KPRC 2)

HOUSTON – A Stafford man who was convicted in his mother’s murder, and injuring of his father in a 2021 shooting, has been sentenced to 45 years in prison, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Friday.

“When we think of domestic violence, we also need to think about elder abuse because it can escalate to murder just as fast as other forms of domestic violence,” Ogg said. “With more than half a million people over the age of 65 in Harris County, we have to stay vigilant about vulnerable elderly people being hurt or taken advantage of by someone they love and trust.”

On Aug. 24, 2021, police said Joshua Cordell Williams, 35, shot his mom, Cathy Williams, 64, and his 72-year-old father. Officers said Williams’ mother was found in the living room area with a gunshot wound to her stomach and his dad, who was shot twice, was found alive in the bedroom. The father was initially transported to the hospital in critical condition but expected to recover.

According to investigators, Williams’ mother called police saying her son was the shooter before she died.

Police said Williams walked outside of the house as they arrived at the scene and was arrested without incident. Officers said they found a shotgun and rifle at the home.

READ: Bond set at $175K for man who police say admitted to shooting his parents at southwest Houston home

Officers said Williams told them he did not agree with the religion his mother and father were following. Investigators said Williams admitted his parents did not coerce him or make him follow their religion.

On Wednesday, Williams pleaded guilty to murder and to aggravated assault of a family member with a deadly weapon. He must serve at least half of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. As part of the plea agreement, he cannot appeal his conviction or the sentence, according to the DA.

Assistant District Attorney Joseph Frank, who works in the District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Division, said Williams’ father did not want to testify.

“There really is no greater crime than killing or attempting to kill your parents,” Frank said. “The 911 call is heartbreaking and there is no doubt that he is guilty, but the agreement spares his father the pain of having to relive the crime in court and hopefully provides a degree of closure.”

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