COLUMBUS, Ga. — The man accused of raping and killing a 5-year-old Columbus girl appeared in court this week for an arraignment hearing.
WTVM reports that Jeremy Williams, 37, pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect in the murder of Kamarie Holland.
[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]
Police and deputies found Holland’s body in an abandoned home in eastern Alabama on Dec. 14. Investigators arrested 37-year-old Jeremy Williams and Holland’s mother Kristy Siple.
A grand jury indicted Williams on four counts of capital murder for kidnapping, rape and murder. Williams was also indicted on human trafficking, abuse of a corpse and production of child pornography.
Officials said Siple trafficked her daughter to Williams in exchange for money. Siple was indicted on three counts of felony murder and count of human trafficking. Siple waived her court appearance but entered a not guilty plea, according to WTVM.
- Damaging gusts, large hail, tornadoes possible with today’s severe weather threat
- Former East Point officers indicted on charges of shooting unarmed man
- Trees fall on homes, powerlines as storms move through North Georgia
On Dec. 13, Columbus police department issued a critical missing child alert for Siple’s 5-year-old daughter Kamarie Holland. She told police she went to check on her daughter when she woke up and couldn’t find her.
Columbus police identified Williams as suspect and reached out to Russell County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama for assistance.
Investigators tracked Williams down to the Bamboo Hotel in Phenix City where he was staying with his uncle. The hotel told police they had been there for 30 minutes before police arrived.
Agents went to a former address in Phenix City that belonged to Williams and found Holland’s body.
[RELATED: Georgia mother charged with multiple counts of murder in 5-year-old daughter’s death]
Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said the cause of death appeared to be asphyxiation and there were signs of sexual abuse.
AL.com obtained court documents of the indictment in March. The newspaper reports that Williams recorded himself raping her after he had killed her, according to the documents.
Williams had been arrested for sexual abuse in the past, including 2009. He was later acquitted by a jury in 2012.
Because Kamarie was believed to have been killed in Alabama, the case will remain in Russell County.
Jury trial is slated to begin Sept. 26, WTVM reports. Williams could face the death penalty if convicted on the capital murder charge.
©2022 Cox Media Group