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‘He got what he wanted.’ Man pleads to raping, strangling girl he bought from GA mother

Editor’s note: This story includes reporting on a graphic, violent crime.

For $2,500, Kristy Marie Siple sold her 5-year-old daughter to Jeremy Tremaine Williams so he could make the child perform a sexual act.

He took Kamarie Holland from Columbus to a vacant house in Phenix City, where he raped and sodomized the child with a rope around her neck before strangling her to death.

Then he had sex with her corpse, recording the entire incident on his cell phone. An autopsy later revealed the girl was under the influence of methamphetamine.

Those were some of the details that prosecutors in Russell County, Alabama, divulged Wednesday as Williams pleaded guilty to multiple felony charges, including capital murder.

The horror story does not end there.

Under Alabama law, Williams cannot resolve a murder case carrying the death penalty by pleading guilty. A jury must find him guilty in a trial, where his pleas will be used as evidence against him.

That trial is expected to start April 8, authorities said. If the jury finds him guilty of capital crimes, he may be sentenced to death or to life without parole. He is 39 years old.

Standing in shackles before Circuit Judge David Johnson, Williams entered a “blind” or cold plea to the charges, meaning his defense attorneys Charles Floyd III and Andrew Maddox made no deal with prosecutors regarding his sentence.

After Williams acknowledged he could be executed, Johnson asked him why he was pleading guilty.

“To expedite the process,” he replied.

The judge asked whether he had a reason to expedite it.

“No sir,” he replied.

Williams initially had pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, but attorneys Wednesday said two psychological evaluations found him mentally competent to stand trial. Williams in court admitted he was mentally competent when he killed the girl.

Siple also pleaded guilty in a separate hearing that preceded Williams’. She pleaded to human trafficking, for a sentence of 20 years in prison, and agreed to testify against Williams. Siple is 37.

Kristy Marie Siple, center, is escorted to a courtroom Wednesday afternoon for a hearing before Circuit Court Judge David Johnson at the Russell County Courthouse in Phenix City, Alabama. 03/13/2024
Kristy Marie Siple, center, is escorted to a courtroom Wednesday afternoon for a hearing before Circuit Court Judge David Johnson at the Russell County Courthouse in Phenix City, Alabama. 03/13/2024

She has been jailed 27 months, and will get credit for the time she already has served. Johnson has not set a sentencing date for her.

Siple was arrested on murder charges, after investigators found the girl’s body Dec. 13, 2021, at a house on 15th Avenue, but those charges were dropped in exchange for her plea. Her attorney was Larry Cooper.

Outside the courtroom, reporters asked District Attorney Rick Chancey whether people fairly could describe Siple as a “monster” for selling her child to Williams.

Kristy Marie Siple, center, is escorted to a courtroom Wednesday afternoon for a hearing before Circuit Court Judge David Johnson at the Russell County Courthouse in Phenix City, Alabama. 03/13/2024
Kristy Marie Siple, center, is escorted to a courtroom Wednesday afternoon for a hearing before Circuit Court Judge David Johnson at the Russell County Courthouse in Phenix City, Alabama. 03/13/2024

Chancey stood silent for a moment, and then quietly asked: “If you can’t count on your mom, who can you count on?”

Also in the courtroom was Kamarie’s father, Corey Holland Sr., who began to weep as Chancey detailed what Williams did to the girl the night of Dec. 12, 2021.

Judge Johnson has maintained a gag order that prohibits those involved in the case from commenting publicly on the evidence. He said that order will remain in effect, to avoid prejudicing those who may be called to jury duty, when Williams goes to trial.

The attorneys are allowed to comment on court procedure and the relevant laws.

A second victim, 6

Prosecutor Malory Hatfield described a second sexual assault case involving a child, this one a 6-year-old girl Williams sexually abused “numerous” times in the summer of 2021, either at the 15th Avenue house or at a Phenix City motel.

Those accusations came to light when counselors questioned the child, who had feared reporting the abuse because Williams threatened to have her sent to juvenile detention, Hatfield said.

In that case, he pleaded guilty to sodomy and sex abuse involving a child younger than 12. He was expected to plead guilty to raping her, but in court he denied having intercourse with the girl, and Johnson would not accept his guilty plea on that count.

Hatfield dropped that charge so the hearing could proceed.

After closing that case, the prosecutors moved on to Kamarie’s kidnapping, rape and murder, with Chancey describing the sex acts that investigators saw on Williams’ cell phone.

Then Williams pleaded guilty to these charges:

  • Capital murder for causing Kamarie’s death.

  • Capital murder for killing her in course of kidnapping.

  • Capital murder for killing her while committing first-degree rape.

  • Capital murder for killing her while committing first-degree sodomy.

Those are the charges that will go to a jury for a final verdict and sentence.

Williams also pleaded to these counts, which do not carry the death penalty and will not have to go to the jury:

  • Producing obscene material.

  • Abusing a corpse.

  • First-degree human trafficking.

  • Conspiracy to commit human trafficking, for negotiating a price for the girl with her mother.

Williams wanted plea

“Mr. Williams has been wanting to do this from day one,” Floyd said after the hearing. “Obviously we had an obligation to make sure he’s competent to make these decisions, and to make sure his constitutional rights were protected.”

Charles Floyd is one of the attorneys representing Jeremy Tremaine Williams. 03/13/2024
Charles Floyd is one of the attorneys representing Jeremy Tremaine Williams. 03/13/2024

His defense attorneys had to ensure also that Williams understood each crime he pleaded to, and the punishment he faced, Floyd added.

“We got him to a point where he got what he wanted,” the attorney said. “And so now we’ll move on to the next phases, and we’ll see what happens then.”

The court will have to impanel a jury qualified to consider a capital case, and then hold the capital murder trial, he said.

“All we did today is evidence that he is guilty, but it is not proof that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” Floyd added.

Should he be found guilty, then jurors must decide his punishment.

“That’s when aggravating or mitigating evidence is presented to determine whether or not he would get death, or life without parole,” Floyd said.

Though the prosecutors and county sheriff’s investigators were not free to comment on the details of what happened to the girl on a cold December night when she should have been with her father, and not at her mother’s home, they admitted to being shocked at what they saw, and to finding it hard to forget.

“Never thought I’d see something like this case,” said Sheriff Heath Taylor.

Jeremy Tremaine Williams, center, is escorted to a courtroom Wednesday afternoon for a hearing before Circuit Court Judge David Johnson at the Russell County Courthouse in Phenix City, Alabama. 03/13/2024
Jeremy Tremaine Williams, center, is escorted to a courtroom Wednesday afternoon for a hearing before Circuit Court Judge David Johnson at the Russell County Courthouse in Phenix City, Alabama. 03/13/2024