LIMA — The attorney for a woman charged with murder in the stabbing death of a Lima man earlier this year attempted to plead guilty on his client’s behalf Wednesday, only to have the presiding judge refuse to accept that plea.
Later in the hearing, after closed-door discussions between the judge and attorneys involved, the woman’s guilty plea was entered a second time and was accepted.
Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed initially declined to accept the plea offered by attorney Bill Kluge on behalf of Marchion Williams to the charge of murder in the death of 40-year-old Eddie McClellan.
When Reed asked Williams if it was her desire to plead guilty, Williams replied, “I don’t want to, but I guess so.” Reed immediately said he would not accept the plea.
At the judge’s urging, a visibly agitated Kluge agreed to meet with Reed and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Destiny Caldwell behind closed doors to seek a resolution to the stalemate. Fifteen minutes later the case was resolved when Williams agreed to plead guilty to an amended charge of murder that had no impact on her sentence.
As part of a negotiated resolution, Williams pleaded guilty to an unclassified felony charge of murder in exchange for the state’s dismissal of a second murder charge, along with two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of felonious assault.
Williams, 40, who was born in Lima but is described in court documents as homeless, will be sentenced to a mandatory prison term of 15 years to life when she returns to court Oct. 15. A pre-sentenced investigation was ordered by the court.
The charges against Williams stem from an incident that took place late on the evening of March 13 or early on March 14 at McClellan’s residence at 605 Fairview Ave., Lima. Police were dispatched to the home shortly after midnight on March 14 in reference to the report of a stabbing incident. Upon their arrival, officers found McClellan, 65, suffering from multiple stab wounds, including one in the chest, according to court documents. The man was transported to Lima Memorial Health System, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
Police later found Williams at a residence on South Union Street, a location described by one Lima Police Department detective as “a smoke house, a place where people go to smoke crack” cocaine.
Williams reportedly had “a large amount of blood on her … and we found Eddie McClellan’s wallet in her pocket” when she was taken into custody, the detective said.
Police say McClellan had allowed Williams to stay at his home for a few days because she was homeless. But when he asked her to leave the home, the pair reportedly began to fight. Williams admitted to police she grabbed a knife and stabbed McClellan out of anger after he ordered her to leave, according to court documents.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.