A student at a technical school in Oklahoma was paralyzed by a 2017 attack after a classmate blamed him for disrupting his sex life, federal authorities say.
Now the attacker has been sentenced to more than four years in federal prison, according to a June 24 press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma.
Jace Christian Williams, 23, of Miami, Oklahoma, is also due to be released under supervision for three years after the end of his time in prison.
“In a cowardly attack, Mr. Williams blinded and… a fellow student paralyzedand then ruthlessly bragged about his crime,” Edward J. Gray, FBI Oklahoma City special commander, said in the press release.
Authorities say Williams and the victim attended a vocational school in Afton — and days before the attack, “Williams repeatedly expressed anger at the victim because he felt the victim had interfered with Williams’ chances of a sexual encounter with two women.” had ruined. †
“Williams went so far as to tell a student that he would make sure the victim ‘was unable to use his arms or legs for five months,'” authorities continued.
The defense attorney representing Williams did not immediately respond to a June 27 request from McClatchy News for comment, but in court records, he says Williams and the victim agreed to a fight.
‘Deliberate, violent attack’
On November 3, 2017, officials say Williams and his classmate both came to watch an unrelated fight between two other men.
“As the victim and other students gathered in a circle awaiting the start of the fight, multiple witnesses from different vantage points saw Williams suddenly attack the victim from behind,” the press release said. “In a maneuver similar to what is commonly referred to as a ‘suplex,’ Williams wrapped his arms around the victim’s body, lifted him back and slammed him headfirst to the ground.”
Williams is accused of repeatedly hitting the victim in the back.
A witness called 911 and was waiting for help as Williams left with his driver, authorities said. The driver recalled Williams bragging about what he was doing and calling it “fun.”
The victim was taken to a Missouri hospital, where he was diagnosed with paralysis, according to the press release. He is now a quadriplegic.
A federal jury found Williams guilty of “mutilation in Indian Country and assault resulting in serious bodily harm in Indian Country” earlier this year. Prosecutors argued for a 10-year prison term, more than double the time he was given.
“Jace Williams’ deliberate, violent assault has changed the life of the victim in this case forever,” U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson said in a statement. “His blatant actions are unforgivable. This kind of criminal behavior cannot and will not be tolerated.”
‘A fight between boys’
In a sentencing memorandum written by Williams’ attorney, Williams was described as an “all-American boy” from Joplin, Missouri, and a member of the Miami tribe of Indians. At the age of 19, he studied diesel and auto mechanics at the Northeast Vocational Technology Center.
Williams and the victim were “best friends” according to the court, but “that relationship was tested by a girl.”
Defense attorney John M. Dunn says the two agreed to a fight after Williams was apparently told that “there was a rumor that he was going to have a threesome with (his girlfriend) and another girl.” He was told that his friend started the rumor.
“Even if (for the sake of argument) the events took place in a manner that leaned on an attack by (the victim) by Mr Williams – it was still just a fight between boys,” Dunn wrote. “This was not some act planned from the start and intended to break the back of (the victim).”
Commenting on this being called a “fight,” prosecutors submitted an interview with witnesses who said it was an assault, not a fight.
“I saw someone attack another person who had no chance to fight back,” the witness said.