KENNEWICK — A photograph of his grandmother's lifeless body led police to become suspicious of Adam Ryan Williams hours before the elderly woman was found dead in her Kennewick home, documents show.
Williams wasted little time in bragging about allegedly killing Viola Williams on Jan. 27.
The 87-year-old woman is believed to have been brutally attacked at 9 a.m., based on the coroner's estimation of her time of death.
At 10:30 a.m., a woman called West Richland police about a fellow bus rider who reportedly had shown her a picture on his camera of "a person on the ground with blood coming from their head and a knife in their neck," Kennewick Detective John Davis wrote in a document.
Never miss a local story.
The man took credit for doing "this act about an hour prior," and even shared his home address with the woman, the document said.
That anonymous 911 call set in motion a chain of events long before Tri-City law enforcement even knew they had a confirmed homicide.
A search warrant request shows the cooperation between different agencies, as West Richland officers kept watch over the 28-year-old Williams for several hours -- initially not knowing if he even had done anything wrong -- until Kennewick police got word of Viola Williams' death and made the link to her grandson.
Adam Williams is charged in Benton County Superior Court with first-degree murder.
The case quickly was put on hold at his first court appearance when his lawyer requested an evaluation at Eastern State Hospital. Adam Williams has a history of mental illness and drug abuse, and reportedly admitted to using crystal meth the night before the slaying.
A hearing is scheduled Wednesday to see if Adam Williams has gone to the Medical Lake facility or if psychiatrists have visited him in the Benton County jail. The case has been assigned to Judge Bruce Spanner.
Adam Williams previously spent five years at the state psychiatric hospital after he was acquitted by reason of insanity for a 2006 Franklin County case involving the assault of a corrections officer. While in the facility, he refused to eat in an attempt to starve himself to death and said God had promised him a special place in heaven.
Adam Williams, after his arrest in the new case, claimed that God sent him a guiding light and angels directing him to kill his grandmother.
Viola Williams was found dead just before 3 p.m. Jan. 27 when her daughter stopped by to check on her.
But West Richland officers first suspected something was up after getting the 10:30 a.m. tip and later seeing bloody shoes inside Adam Williams' apartment. The warrant details what happened in the hours after her death as police tried to piece together a crime that they didn't even yet know had occurred.
Adam Williams reportedly took a Ben Franklin Transit bus from West Richland to his grandmother's 3324 W. 19th Ave. home that morning. It was on the ride back to his 531 S. 38th Ave. apartment that he allegedly pulled out a small, black digital camera for a fellow rider and showed her the picture of a body.
When the woman called police, she said she was afraid for her safety and did not want to give her name. However, she relayed as much information as she could remember from the bus ride.
She described the man as white and in his 20s with "shorter, lighter brown messy hair and some facial hair," the detective said. He was said to be wearing brown shoes and green pants with what appeared to be blood on the left shoe and a pant leg.
"The suspect told the female he was on his way to West Richland and that he lived in a studio apartment behind the Brick House Pizza," the document said. "The suspect told this female that he had been trying to kill the person ... due to some extortion."
West Richland police Sgt. Bill Leach and Detective Clark Boyer went to look for anything suspicious behind the pizza restaurant. They met with the assistant manager at the apartment complex behind Brick House Pizza and were able to identify Adam Williams as a tenant and likely the bus rider.
Leach and Boyer went to Adam Williams' apartment and were invited inside. Boyer reportedly noticed a vinyl case near the front door that looked like a camera case, and Leach saw a pile of clothes with a pair of green pants on top and some brown shoes just inside the door that appeared to have blood on them.
But before they could read the Miranda rights, Adam Williams asked for a lawyer.
Police left the apartment without asking any further questions, but stayed outside watching from the parking lot "pending the outcome of the suspicious call," the search warrant document said.
At one point, Adam Williams walked outside to tell Leach and Boyer to stop harassing him, then went back into his home. He again left to go across the parking lot and put his trash in what police described as a common-use Dumpster.
Boyer said he looked over the edge of the open Dumpster and "could see green pants with blood on them."
After the discovery at Viola Williams' home, Kennewick police advised their West Richland colleagues that they had found a dead body in Kennewick. Boyer responded that they just may be with the homicide suspect, so he was told to take Adam Williams into custody.
"Detective Boyer told me that Williams walked up to him while he was still near his car and handed him a manila folder and said he thought they needed to put handcuffs on him," Detective Davis wrote in the search warrant. "Williams said there is a picture of the woman in the folder."
Leach reportedly stopped Adam Williams from talking, informed him of his rights and told the suspect that he did not want to question him.
"Detective Boyer told Williams he was under arrest for assault and Williams said something like, 'No, murder,' " Davis wrote. "A sum of money was taken off of Williams and Williams said he took it from the woman."
Once at the Kennewick Police Department, Adam Williams was interviewed by Detective Rick Runge. He allegedly admitted to using methamphetamine the night before and killing his grandmother that morning, claiming that God has given him the name "Lucifer Grand Am Dynasty."
Adam Williams, who often refers to himself in the third person, said "that a voice told him to kill Adam's grandmother," the document said. He also allegedly talked about putting a white garbage bag, which contained his camera and green pants, in the Dumpster earlier that day.
Adam Williams is accused of using foil, lighter fluid, a plastic bag and a belt to try to kill Viola Williams before grabbing a knife from the kitchen and stabbing her multiple times. He told Runge that he initially punched the victim in the head and caused her to fall to the floor because he was angry with her, and said the attack only stopped "when God told him that was enough," according to court documents filed in the case.
Benton County Coroner John Hansens told the Herald his office estimated Viola Williams died at 9 a.m. because there was a very short window of time when Adam Williams was seen coming and going.
Autopsy results show that she died from a combination of blunt force injuries to her head, neck and torso, and sharp force injuries to her head and neck. The autopsy was done by Carl Wigren, a forensic pathologist from Seattle.
Wigren also is doing some microscopic analysis of some tissue samples to see if he can get a more narrowed cause of death.
"We know she had several different type of injuries -- both blunt force and cutting injuries," Hansens said. He explained that the analysis might help determine whether Viola Williams died from being stabbed or from the other injuries.
Six hours after being called to the home, Kennewick police had Judge Craig Matheson's signature on a search warrant request.
The document, prepared by Detective Davis, asked to look for evidence in Viola Williams' mobile home, Adam Williams' studio apartment and the common-use Dumpster outside his building. It also gave permission to take any clothes or jewelry that Adam Williams was wearing at the time of his arrest and get a DNA swab and a blood draw from him at Kennewick General Hospital.
The blood will be submitted for a toxicology test to see if Adam Williams had meth or other drugs in his system at the time, and the DNA can be used to compare to any DNA evidence that may have been found at the scene.
In addition to the clothes and camera that had belonged to Adam Williams, authorities seized a number of store and bank cards from the victim's home, her wallet and purse, and items that were found around her body such as buttons, a ring, hair, an earring, pieces of a belt and plastic bubble wrap, documents show.
Adam Williams is being held on $500,000 bail.