Loved ones livid after probation deal for killer of Detroit police sergeant: 'Like a punch to the gut'

Loved ones of a Detroit Police Department sergeant killed by her domestic partner in 2019, are livid with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

A plea reduction deal reduced her killer's sentence to three years of probation. The decision was seismic for the loved ones of Sgt. Elaine Willaims, who have been waiting and hoping for justice ever since 2019.

"It has not been easy," said Bodashia Grimm, a family friend.

Sgt Williams was a member of the Detroit Police Department for 14 years.

In June of 2019, the mother of two was shot and killed by her domestic partner, Eddie Ray Jr. Johnson.

"He was released from jail around COVID and he’s been out since then," Grimm said.

But on Friday, the family and friends of Williams received another blow.

Johnson's plea reduction came with a sentence agreement of three years probation. It comes after Johnson entered a plea of no contest to manslaughter.

"Now to hear about this plea deal that went from first-degree premeditated murder down to manslaughter is just a punch in the gut," she said. "It’s gut-wrenching."

Sgt Williams and Johnson had been out on the evening of June 2nd. And both had been drinking, but when they returned to their Garden City home they had an argument.

Related: Man who killed Detroit police sergeant girlfriend gets probation after self-defense claim

Johnson was seen leaving the house with a gunshot wound. But when police entered the home Williams was dead.  

The gun involved in the incident had been issued to Williams during her employment with DPD. He claimed the incident was self-defense.

"To me this opens up the door for other murders in the community that Kim Worthy will offer deals to," Grimm said.

In a statement, Wayne County Prosecutor Kim Worthy said in part:

"In this case, where both parties were shot with the same gun, the order of events is open to multiple interpretations," she said. "Considering our burden of proof, we believe this is an appropriate resolution. The decision to offer this plea to this defendant was not what we wanted to do, but it was the just thing to do,"

Grimm isn't buying it.

"How could there be any confusion if you don’t have enough evidence?" she said. "Elaine is no longer here. Her children no longer have a mother."

Detroit Police Chief James White also offered a statement which reads in part:

"This plea deal is not the outcome that the DPD wanted for Sgt. Williams’ loved ones, but we understand the unique circumstances of this case and therefore accept the prosecutor’s decision."

Those who support Williams say they’re now focused on supporting her kids and encouraging them to not lose faith in the justice system.

"I would like Kim Worthy to step down as a prosecutor," said Grimm. "Wayne County can do better. She make deals with the devil."

Top left: Eddie Ray Jr. Johnson, below DPD Sgt. Elaine Williams, Williams with her children at right.

Top left: Eddie Ray Jr. Johnson, below DPD Sgt. Elaine Williams, Williams with her children at right.