Macon police charged a woman Wednesday with the murder of her three children, a little more than three weeks after they died in a house fire that investigators ruled accidental.
The U.S. Marshals Southeastern Regional Fugitive Task Force picked up Colethia Williams, 29, at her mothers home on Ann Place, where shes been staying since the fire. Williams was booked into the Bibb County jail and charged with three counts of felony murder, four counts of second-degree cruelty to children, and another felony, making false statements and writings.
The three children, Daija Williams, 7, Jamarrian Williams, 9, and Nykhiya Williams, 10, were killed in the fire on James Street in the early hours of Feb. 24. A fourth child, Jlon Williams, 3, was treated for serious injuries at an Augusta hospital before his release.
Hours after the fire, Williams said she had gone to a convenience store near her home to buy sinus medicine because she was having trouble sleeping. While she was at the store, she received a call from someone saying her house was on fire.
The children were in the house alone sleeping. The four were left long enough for a structure fire to engulf the residence, a Macon police news release Wednesday stated.
While state investigators ruled the blaze accidental, they have not determined how it started.
She was a good mom, Vicki Pitts, Williams mother, said Wednesday afternoon, standing in her living room as Jlon played in the background. She loved her children. She truly did. I know she loved those kids.
Less than an hour beforehand, two law enforcement officials came to the home and led Williams away. They didnt put her in handcuffs, Pitts said.
At least three times since the fire, police had been to the house to take Williams to the station for further interviews, Pitts said, adding that she didnt know her daughter was being charged when they led her away Wednesday. She thought they were just coming by to ask her more questions.
It was a tragedy, Pitts said of the fire. I hate it every day. ... I want (police) to let us heal. My grandkids are fine. Theyre with the Lord.
I love Colethia no matter the mistakes she made, Pitts said of Williams decision to leave the children home that night. Shes still my daughter, and as a parent, all of us has made mistakes along the way but just escaped tragedy.
To contact writer Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.