Houston & Peach

Second man gets life with possible parole in killing outside Warner Robins motel

Willie Walters
Willie Walters

A second man was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the slaying of man outside a Warner Robins motel in 2017 during an attempted armed robbery.

Willie Walters III, 20, of Perry, will have to serve 30 years in prison before he’s eligible for possible parole, according to a Houston County District Attorney’s Office news release.

Walters was sentenced by Judge G.E. “Bo” Adams after pleading guilty Friday to felony murder for his role in in the slaying 34-year-old Donell Nathaniel Hawkins.

Hawkins was found dead on the sidewalk in front of room No. 103 of the Budget Inn on Watson Boulevard in about 11 p.m. June 28, 2017. He had been shot once in the chest.

Malik Qran Golden, 21, was previously found guilty at trial of felony murder and related charges in the slaying of Hawkins. The final co-defendant, Kendra Tenesha Tillery, of Warner Robins, is awaiting trial.

Walters, who testified during Golden’s trial, admitted that he participated in the attempted robbery, but denied having the gun and shooting Hawkins, the release said.

According to an arrest warrant for Tillery, she was accused of luring Hawkins into a position for Golden to shoot him. Golden was initially identified in an arrest warrant as the shooter. However, Walters was subsequently identified as “the person who actually shot” Hawkins, according to his arrest warrant.

Golden and Walters allegedly conspired to rob Hawkins, who had been staying at the motel for about a month and was believed to be selling drugs, according to arrest warrants. Golden matched the description of a suspect captured on surveillance video, according to the warrants.

“The citizens of Houston County need to know that senseless murders and violence will not go unanswered,” Assistant District Attorney Clif Woody said in the release.

Woody also praised Warner Robins police Detective Mark Wright for his work on the case.

Warner Robins police are asking for the public's help identifying the two people in this surveillance video. Investigators would like to talk to them in connection with the June 28, 2016, killing at the Budget Inn at 2076 Watson Blvd. Anyone with

Becky Purser covers breaking and Houston County news. She previously covered crime and courts for Houston and Peach counties for The Telegraph. A graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in communications/news-editorial sequence, Becky also has covered city and county government for Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia newspapers.