Coast Guard Helps US Marshals Capture Killer

Atlanta, GA – On February 28, 2008, investigators from the U.S. Marshals Middle District of Florida and the United States Coast Guard captured Derron Keenan Williams as he attempted to flee the country.

Williams was wanted by the Atlanta Police Department for felony murder and aggravated assault with a weapon. At approximately 3:30 am on February 9, 2008, Williams is believed to have intentionally used his vehicle as a weapon to assault Weston Spratling after the two had argued at a party in Atlanta. As a result of the incident Spratling was killed.

On February 25, 2008, Atlanta Police Department (APD) and United States Marshals Service (USMS) Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force (SERFTF) investigators teamed up and began working the case together. On the morning of February 28, 2008, investigators from the APD and the USMS-SERFTF were able to determine that Williams had boarded an AirTran jet and flown to Jacksonville, FL.

U.S. Marshals in Jacksonville, FL immediately joined the investigation and were able to locate a hotel that William’s girlfriend had been staying. A short time later Marshals determined that Williams had boarded a Celebrity Cruise Ship bound for Freeport, Bahamas.

Marshals then teamed up with officers from the United States Coast Guard in the search for Williams. Once the location of the ship was determined Marshal Service investigators and U.S. Coast Guard personnel boarded a 47’ Coast Guard Cutter from Mayport Naval Base and began to pursue the Cruise ship in an attempt to catch it before it entered international waters.

The ship loaded with approximately 3000 passengers was located and boarded five miles offshore. At approximately 7:00pm, with the help of the crew, U.S. Marshals were quickly able to locate, identify and arrest Williams on the ship without incident. Williams was then transported via the Coast Guard Cutter back to Jacksonville, FL.

Williams will be held in the Duval County Jail pending his extradition back to Atlanta, GA.

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