LIMA — What was scheduled as a fairly routine sentencing hearing for a woman convicted of murder took a drastically unexpected turn Monday morning.
Marchion Williams, 40, listed in court documents as “homeless,” appeared in Allen County Common Pleas Court for sentencing after pleading guilty Sept. 5 to murder in the death of 40-year-old Eddie McClellan earlier this year. Ohio law called for Williams to be sentenced to a mandatory prison term of 15 years to life.
Several weeks ago, however, Williams sent a letter to Judge Jeffrey Reed stating that she was dissatisfied with the legal representation she received throughout her case from court-appointed public defender Bill Kluge. The attorney said he received a similar letter.
“Ms. Williams said that I coerced her into entering a plea of guilty. I thought we were on the same page on the day of sentencing, but I guess not,” Kluge told the court. “She would like to file a motion to withdraw her guilty plea.”
Reed asked Williams if there was anything she believed the court needed to know. She replied, “No, he (Kluge) said everything.” Upon further questioning from Reed, Williams repeated her desire to fire Kluge and have another public defender appointed to her case.
Reed agreed to that request and said another sentencing hearing would be held after the new attorney had the opportunity to familiarize him or herself with the case. The judge did not say whether a motion to withdraw the previously-tendered guilty plea would be considered.
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 in reference to a stabbing incident. Upon their arrival, officers found McClellan, 65, suffering from multiple stab wounds, including one in the chest, according to court documents. He was transported to Lima Memorial Health System, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
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.
As part of a negotiated resolution, Williams pleaded guilty last month 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.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.