NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine — The suspect in the killing of a Somerset County sheriff’s deputy was taken into custody early Saturday afternoon with the handcuffs of the officer he’s accused of shooting secured around his wrists.
Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster confirmed that the handcuffs of Deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole, who was killed Wednesday morning, were used to secure John Daniel Williams, the suspect in his shooting death.
“We did use Cpl. Cole’s handcuffs. I think that it was fitting where he killed my deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole that he was brought to justice using Cpl. Cole’s handcuffs,” Lancaster said at a 4 p.m. news conference in Norridgewock Saturday.
Williams, 29, was captured at 12:43 p.m. in the woods Saturday close to where a massive manhunt had been focused the past couple days.
He put up little struggle before he was arrested, Maine State Police Lt. Col. John Cote said.
Cote said a police photo showing Williams lying prone on the ground covered in dirt that had made its way around various media outlets was taken only to identify Williams. He said Williams had resisted showing his face, so officers held up his head, but he was checked by emergency medical service workers immediately afterward.
Cote said teams of law enforcement officers were combing the area and were confident they had confined Williams to an area between Bear Mountain and Lost Brook west of Route 139 in Norridgewock.
“It was very difficult terrain,” he said, adding that several times the officers saw critical evidence, including what appeared to be fresh footprints.
The seven-person team that captured Williams found him outside a camp near Lost Brook. It wasn’t clear if Williams had any connection to that camp.
“I believe they [officials] are preparing a search warrant for that camp,” Cote said.
Cote said Williams was first taken to the Waterville Police Department for questioning. This afternoon he was booked at the Maine State Prison in Warren, according to Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland.
Attorney General Janet Mills said in a statement issued late Saturday that Williams will make his first court appearance Monday or Tuesday. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Marchese and Assistant Attorney General Leanne Zainea will prosecute the case. The state will request that Williams be held without bail.
Cote and Lancaster declined to answer details about the encounter between Cole and Williams on Wednesday nor what might have led to the shooting. They also declined to answer details about the arrest such as whether Williams was armed or made any statements.
Lancaster said that over the four days, more than 200 officers from 28 federal, state, municipal and local law enforcement groups joined the search for Williams.
“At this point the manhunt is done,” he said, adding that residents would sleep well knowing a dangerous person was off the streets.
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