District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson announced this week that Stephen B. Williams, Jr. of Itta Bena, Mississippi, pled guilty to two counts of first degree murder and was sentenced by Leflore Circuit Judge Ashley Hines to serve two consecutive life sentences for the March 16, 2020 slayings of 49 year old Jacqueline Taylor and 58 year old Freddie Mask in Itta Bena, Mississippi.
Upon entering his guilty pleas, Williams also pled guilty to aggravated domestic violence charges in an unrelated case and was sentenced to serve two years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections to run at the same time as his life sentences. Williams was 24 years old at the time he committed the crimes.
The murder charges arose when a concerned citizen, who knew Ms. Taylor and Mr. Mask, discovered their bodies at a residence located on CR 138 in Itta Bena, after passing the residence on the morning of March 16, 2020 and noticing the interior front door open but the glass storm door closed and stopping to check on them. The citizen immediately called the Leflore County Sherriff’s Office. LCSO deputies responded and found the victims shot to death. Further investigation revealed that the Ms. Taylor and Mr. Mask were killed around 4 to 4:30 am on the morning their bodies were discovered.
Stephen B. Williams, Jr. was being investigated as a suspect in an unrelated March 14, 2020 shooting which occurred in Sidon, Mississippi and emerged as a suspect in the March 20, 2020 slayings. Williams admitted to Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks and deputies that he killed Ms. Taylor and Mr. Mask during the course of robbing them at the CR 138 residence.
The cases were investigated by the Leflore County Sheriff’s Department and were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Timothy Jones. While nothing can take away the pain of losing a loved one, the District Attorney’s Office hopes that these convictions give the family and friends of the departed a sense of relief that justice has been served.