Trial for second man charged in fatal shooting set for this week

Preston T. Williams

The trial of Preston Tyrell Williams, the Owensboro man charged with fatally gunning down another man in late 2016 on Sycamore Street, is set to begin Tuesday in Daviess Circuit Court.

Williams, 27, of the 600 block of Bolivar Street, was charged with murder in the Dec. 4, 2016 shooting death of Jerard Fountain. Video footage of the incident shows a gold Lexus circling the block prior to the shooting, passing Fountain's home and suddenly turning around after Fountain pulled up to the curb in his own vehicle.

The video shows Fountain walking up to the Lexus as a man, who police believe to be Williams, jumps out of the vehicle. Gunfire is exchanged and Fountain is seen fleeing on foot.

Fountain collapsed a short distance away and died of a gunshot wound.

Williams was also shot in the incident that Owensboro Police Department officials said previously they believe was drug-related. A witness told police she had let Williams borrow the gold Lexus earlier that night.

A second man, Donte M. Washington, 24, of the 1300 block of Bowie Trail, was also charged with murder and tampering with evidence in the shooting. At a trial in late March, Washington was found not guilty of murder but was found guilty of the tampering charge and of being a first-degree felony offender.

After the verdict but before jurors recommended a sentence, attorneys reached a plea agreement that sentenced Washington to 10 years in prison on the persistent felony offender charge.

Williams is also facing charges of kidnapping and first-degree assault for incidents that occurred after Williams was jailed on the murder charge. Williams was indicted in connection with a January 2018 incident at the Daviess County Detention Center where he and two other men allegedly lured another inmate into a cell, bound him and beat and choked him for more than an hour.

Williams and the other men, Eric P. Burroughs and Lyderrick D. Jones were each charged with first-degree assault, kidnapping and intimidation of a witness in the incident. The inmate suffered a broken nose, ruptured ear drum and other injuries, and was allegedly told he would be killed if he reported the incident.

A trial date for Williams on the charges related to the assault has not yet been set.

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

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