Teen enters not guilty plea in Jessica Williams' death - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Teen enters not guilty plea in Jessica Williams' death

Christopher Sowell (Mississippi County Sheriff's Department) Christopher Sowell (Mississippi County Sheriff's Department)

GOSNELL, AR (KAIT) - A teenager arrested for the murder of an 11-year-old girl entered a not guilty plea Thursday.

Christopher Sowell, 17 was arrested in connection with Jessica Williams' death on Aug 28. Sowell's bond was set at two million dollars on Aug. 30, according to court documents. He was charged with first degree murder. 

Sowell, who is from Gosnell, is scheduled to appear in court again on Oct. 14 and has a trial date set for Nov. 12.

An affidavit released by the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department states Sowell admitted to investigators that he killed Jessica Williams. He told officers he became angry and pushed the girl off the bridge onto the ground. Sowell then said when Jessica got back on the bridge, she said she was going to tell her dad what happened.

According to the affidavit, Sowell told investigators he became even more angry, grabbed Jessica by the throat and choked her until he saw her get "wide eyed." Sowell then said he pushed the girl over the side of the bridge into the water and walked away.

An autopsy report released on Sept. 6 suggests Jessica Williams death was caused by strangulation and drowning.

Jessica Williams went missing on the night of Aug. 27 around 6 p.m. but was not reported missing until 9p.m.

"Her father reported that he last saw her playing outside of his home on County Road 503," said Sheriff Dale Cook.

Cook said the girl's home was only about 5 miles from where she was found.

"The young girl's bicycle was found near her home although her body was found in an area not easy to drive or walk to," Cook said.

The body of Jessica Williams was found in a floodway ditch on East County Road 122 near Big Lake on the morning of Aug. 28.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.

  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • First Alert: Rainy Earth Day

    First Alert: Rainy Earth Day

    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:14 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:14:41 GMT
    Most of the heavier showers will move in during the early morning hours (Source: KFVS)Most of the heavier showers will move in during the early morning hours (Source: KFVS)

    Lisa Michaels says a slow-moving low-pressure system that is off to the southwest of the Heartland is bringing rain this morning.

    Lisa Michaels says a slow-moving low-pressure system that is off to the southwest of the Heartland is bringing rain this morning.

  • Two families had memorable pitches at SEMO Redhawks game

    Two families had memorable pitches at SEMO Redhawks game

    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:42 PM EDT2018-04-22 02:42:34 GMT
    Liam Gregory, a heart recipient, hands the ball to the catcher in his ceremonial first pitch.Liam Gregory, a heart recipient, hands the ball to the catcher in his ceremonial first pitch.

    Two memorable first pitches happened at the SEMO Redhawks baseball game on Saturday, April 21.

    Two memorable first pitches happened at the SEMO Redhawks baseball game on Saturday, April 21.

  • 82-year-old injured after crash with semi on I-57 in Williamson Co., IL

    82-year-old injured after crash with semi on I-57 in Williamson Co., IL

    Saturday, April 21 2018 9:18 PM EDT2018-04-22 01:18:16 GMT
    An 82-year-old man was injured after his car was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 57 in Williamson County, Illinois. (Source: Raycom Media)An 82-year-old man was injured after his car was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 57 in Williamson County, Illinois. (Source: Raycom Media)
    An 82-year-old man was injured after his car was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 57 in Williamson County, Illinois. (Source: Raycom Media)An 82-year-old man was injured after his car was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 57 in Williamson County, Illinois. (Source: Raycom Media)

    An 82-year-old man was injured after his car was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 57 in Williamson County, Illinois.

    An 82-year-old man was injured after his car was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 57 in Williamson County, Illinois.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:55 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:55:32 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:02 PM EDT2018-04-22 16:02:35 GMT
    Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

  • Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:11 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:11:04 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:23 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:23:15 GMT
    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

  • 4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:34 AM EDT2018-04-22 12:34:45 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:06 PM EDT2018-04-22 16:06:37 GMT
    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)
    Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

Powered by Frankly