Police say Youngstown murder suspect sat in alley, waiting for victim

Dale Williams used his van to push the victim's car off the road, then shot her repeatedly as horrified bystanders watched, police said

Police are investigating a shooting on Thursday morning that killed a woman. The shooting happened just after 8 a.m. in the 2700 block of Market Street, near E. Indianola Avenue.


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Dale Williams — accused in the shooting death of his girlfriend at the corner of Market Street and Indianola Avenue in Youngstown on Thursday — showed little emotion in court Friday afternoon.

The 59-year-old — who also has an assault conviction from the early ’90s — is charged with aggravated murder and jailed on $5 million bond. He told Judge Robert Milich on Friday that he needed a lawyer.

“Mr. Williams engaged in a full confession with the detectives yesterday, told them exactly what happened and how he planned this,” said Youngstown City Prosecutor Dana Lantz.

Police and witnesses said Williams used his van to push the car driven by Elizabeth Pledger-Stewart off the road, then shot her repeatedly as horrified bystanders watched.

The victim made a report with Boardman Police the night before, claiming Williams had been sending her threatening text messages.

In court on Friday, Lantz said the couple recently split up after Williams moved to Youngstown from the Cleveland area to be with Pledger-Stewart.

“He was angry and, basically, fed up,” she said. “He told her he would see her — “her” being the victim — in the streets and he waited for her.”

Authorities now have surveillance video showing Williams sitting in his van in an alley near the crime scene for almost an hour, waiting for the victim to drive past.

“The most dangerous time is when a victim is preparing to leave and after they leave,” Joe Caruso, with Compass Family and Community Services, said of domestic violence victims.

“When an event happens in the community, it heightens the awareness of survivors that are still maybe thinking about, ‘I need to escape,'” said Malinda Gavins, with the Sojourner House. “So one of the things we wanted to do is to be proactive and make sure that they know that services are available.”

Advocates for victims of domestic violence say survivors trying to break free of abusive relationships should contact a local victim’s shelter.

“You need a safety plan. You need to be aware of your surroundings,” said Malinda Gavins. “We talk to them about changing their routes. If you go one way today, come home another way.”

Those at the Sojourner House say there are some things to keep in mind if you’re planning to escape:

  • Have extra keys hidden
  • Keep extra changes of clothes at a friend’s house
  • Get copies of important papers (marriage and birth certificates, Social Security cards, etc.)
  • Confide in someone you can trust and make them aware of the situation
  • Have an escape plan for you and your children (Tips on how to create an escape plan)
  • Keep prescription medication in your purse

Experts stress that threats should always be taken seriously and never ignored.

The Sojourner House provides intervention, counseling, and shelter for victims of domestic violence. For help, call them at 330-747-4040. More resources are available on the Sojourner House’s website.

.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s