SKOWHEGAN (NEWS CENTER Maine) — A former coworker of John Williams said Thursday that he was the last person to see Williams before he allegedly shot and killed Somerset County Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole.
Chris Shulenski of Skowhegan said he used to work with Williams at Smith Mountain Investments. He said they traveled out state repairing telephone poles.
Shulenski said he hadn't seen Williams in months but got a text from him at about 1 a.m. Wednesday asking for a ride. Shulenski said he picked him up at a housing complex in Skowhegan and dropped Williams off at a home in Norridgewock at about 1:30 a.m.
Shulenski said Williams was calm but upset about a court hearing that morning in Massachusetts which stemmed from an incident March when Williams was charged with illegal possession of a firearm by Harverhill authorities. Williams told Shulenski he faced 10 years behind bars and wasn’t going to to go to court.
"He was worried the next day he had court, he was facing 10 years," Shulenski said.
"He said 'Chris, I don’t know if I can do the time. I am probably going to be a fugitive and probably not going to court.'"
Shulenski said he knew Deputy Cpl. Cole and had no idea that Williams was wanted as a suspect for his murder until police arrived later that morning at his home.
Richard Rinaldi was one Williams' best friends when they were students at Skowhegan High School. Williams was the vice president of his sophomore class, but the principal says he left before finishing his senior year.
Rinaldi said he was smart and had a lot of potential. He last saw Williams a month ago and appeared to be under the influence of drugs. Both men said Williams needs to surrender but won't because he is a desperate man.
"He killed a cop, he has felony weapons charges in Mass[achusetts] over his head and a murder charge, who knows what else he has, you know?" Rinaldi said.
Listed on Williams' Facebook page was that he was from Amarillo, Texas. We reached out to the Amarillo Police Department; officials said there was no record of Williams living there and that they have not heard from Maine law enforcement officials.
The Texas police department official said their hearts are heavy about the death of Cpl. Cole.
A former roommate of Williams who lives in Orono, where police conducted an overnight search Wednesday, said he saw Williams on Monday in Madison. The former roommate wanted to remain anonymous but said he is sure that Williams does not ever want to go back to prison and will not allow himself to be taken alive.