Montgomery County prosecutors have withdrawn first degree murder charges against a Norristown man accused of shooting another man to death last fall outside a local social club.
They say the killing was grossly negligent, but the premeditation required for first degree murder was not there. 39-year-old Garfield Williams (pictured here) of Pine Street is charged with third degree murder in the death of Marcus Bates, who was killed outside the Elmwood Elks Lodge on Green Street shortly after 2:30am Sunday, October 10. Williams fled to Jamaica the day of the crime, and police arrested him about two weeks later as he got off a plane at Philadelphia International Airport. Witnesses say the incident started when a bouncer broke up an argument between Bates and Williams, who then spoke with his wife, 28-year-old Alexis Williams. She left the club and returned a short time later with a semiautomatic handgun in her purse and slipped it to her husband. He allegedly shot the victim in the back after club staff pushed a few people who were fighting out the door. Alexis Williams is also in custody, charged with numerous offenses.