On November 21, 2021, shortly after midnight, St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Deputies
responded to a shots-fired complaint in Bayou Vista. Neighbors directed them to an
apartment where they located the victim, who had been shot in the head. While emergency
medical personnel worked to save the victim; the deputies learned that the victim’s 18
month-old daughter had been taken from the residence.
An Amber Alert was issued and Derrick Lee Wiliams, Jr.—the victim’s ex-boyfriend
and the father of the child—was quickly identified as a suspect. One of Wiliams’ family
members returned the child to law enforcement within twenty-four hours of the shooting.
However, a multi-agency effort was required to locate and apprehend Wiliams.
Investigation revealed that, in part due to past incidents of domestic violence, the
victim had ful custody of the child. Further, the victim had just told Wiliams that she was in
a new relationship. Wiliams armed himself with a rifle and had another girlfriend drive him
to Bayou Vista. He then went to the victim’s apartment where he made her call her new
boyfriend and tell him that she could not see him anymore. Wiliams then forced the victim
onto her knees, shot her in the head, “execution-style,” and left with their child.
Ultimately, Wiliams was charged with attempted second degree murder and second
degree kidnapping. Wiliams pled guilty to those charges on November 9, 2023.
The sentencing range for attempted second degree murder is not less than ten years
nor more than fifty years at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of
sentence. The sentencing range for second degree kidnapping is not less than five nor
more than forty years at hard labor, with at least two years of the sentence without benefit of
parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. However, the District Attorney’s Office also
invoked Louisiana’s firearms sentencing enhancement provisions, which increases the
minimum penalty to twenty years at hard labor.
A sentencing hearing was held before the Honorable Lewis Pitman, Jr. on February
5. 2024. The victim testified at the sentencing.
For the attempted second degree murder conviction, Judge Pitman sentenced
Wiliams to forty years at hard labor, without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of
For the second degree kidnapping conviction, Judge Pitman sentenced Wiliams
to twenty years at hard labor, without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of
sentence. The sentences are to run consecutively.
Assistant District Attorney Heather Hendrix says, “This victim experienced horror and
trauma that is unimaginable, yet she miraculously survived and is thriving. She, her
daughter, and her family are amazing people who are warriors for victims of domestic
violence. Please seek help if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence.
Contact your local law enforcement agency or family violence crisis center.”