Court chaos at hearing for Md. man accused in ‘nightmare’ killing of 3 girls

WASHINGTON — A bond hearing for a 25-year-old Maryland man accused in the “nightmare” slaying of his 6-year-old sister and two young cousins erupted into a near-brawl Monday between divided family members.

Antonio Williams, of Clinton, is charged with first-degree murder in the girls’ stabbing deaths. Monday’s hearing in Prince George’s County was meant to determine his bail, if any — but that didn’t happen.

Williams could be heard from outside the courtroom shouting for his mother before he was finally brought in. He was restrained by three extra deputies. Five more deputies were posted in the gallery.

With deputies still restraining him at the table, he screamed, “That’s my mom” and “I’m not the one you’re looking for.”

The judge gave up on the hearing and ordered a competency evaluation for Aug. 29.

But as Williams was being escorted out of the courtroom, his mother stood up. “He needs me,” she screamed.

It was then that other family members began screaming back — with frequent profanity — before order was restored by deputies. Family members were ready to, and tried to, fight.

One of the girls, Nadira Withers, 6, was Williams’ sister. The other two were second cousins — 9-year-old Ariana Decree and 6-year-old Ajayah Decree — visiting from New Jersey.

The killing of the three girls sent shock waves through the Clinton community.

“This was just excruciating …. You have two fathers who were in the courtroom this morning grieving for their daughters who were expected to start first grade this week, and the other daughter I believe was starting third grade,” State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County Angela Alsobrooks told reporters after Williams’ court appearance. “But instead they were here determining how to bury their children.”

Alsobrooks said she was surprised by the courtroom outburst but that she expected Williams to be found competent to stand trial.

“We’re not aware of any mental health issue that he has … He cooperated in the interrogation process,” she said. “We have every reason to believe that he is competent.  But certainly that is for a medical professional to make the determination.”

Police discovered the girls’ bodies in the 6400 block of Brooke Jane Drive in Clinton, Maryland, at around 7:30 a.m. Aug. 18, after a woman found the three young girls stabbed in a bed in a basement bedroom.

She had just returned from working an overnight shift and had asked Williams, her son, to watch them.

In a bizarre side note, Williams’ 25th birthday was Aug. 19, the day after the killings.

Officials and neighbors said they are shaken by the crime.

“We woke up again this morning, as hard as it is, to yet another nightmare,” said Angela Alsobrooks, state’s attorney for Prince George’s County.

Assistant Police Chief Hector Velez called the killings a “heartless crime.”

“I wear a uniform, but I am a father,” Velez said. “Those that responded here today are parents, aunts, uncles and siblings of young children that they care for and love very much. We all feel this loss.”

Police brought Williams in for questioning. While talking to investigators, police said Williams admitted to stabbing the three girls.

But they don’t know why he did it.

There were no other adults in the home at the time of the killings, but there was a 2-year-old child in the home who was not harmed.

Williams has been charged with three counts of first- and second-degree murder, in addition to related charges.

A map of the area the girls were found in:

WTOP’s John Domen reported from court; Dennis Foley, Jack Moore and Kristi King contributed to this report.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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