Killing brother nets four-year jail sentence

Tony Williams stabbed his half brother after a night of heavy drinking

“I love you guys. I’ll call,” Tony Williams said quietly as he waved goodbye to two sobbing women in the Campbell River courtroom.

Last month, Williams turned 20 years old. On May 29, he began serving a four-year prison term for killing his half brother Edison Thomas, 33.

“This is a very sad day,” said Supreme Court Justice Douglas Thompson. “This case is more tragic than most.”

Williams and Thomas were among 10 children raised by their mother Mabel. Four had already died under tragic circumstances when the two half brothers began drinking heavily in the basement of their Mo Road home on Sept. 27, 2011.

According to Justice Thompson, the brothers’ relationship is “at its worst” when they drink together.

It deteriorated that night and shortly before 2 a.m. the younger Williams wanted to call it quits while Thomas intended to continue partying.

That led to a fight between the two with Williams taking the brunt of the punishment from the bigger and stronger Thomas who had a significant criminal record for committing assault.

It was around 2:10 a.m., when Williams ran upstairs and told his mother to call police. She called 911, but Williams didn’t wait for Mounties to arrive.

Instead he grabbed a chef’s knife and stabbed his half brother in the torso. The six-inch-deep stab wound was fatal and Thomas died nearly three hours later in Campbell River Hospital.

Williams was charged with second degree murder, but last week – in a deal arranged between the Crown and the defence – pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Justice Thompson accepted the joint submission of a four-year jail term, less 81 days for time already served, and reviewed Williams’ unfortunate history during Wednesday’s sentencing hearing.

Both parents had their trouble with alcohol and Williams began drinking at age 12. He also spent time in foster care, as did all his siblings, and just has a Grade 7 education.

The drinking ramped up during his teenage years and when he drank to excess, he would get “out of control” and his “anger rises to the surface.”

In spite of this, the judge noted there are positive aspects about Williams that were reflected in a pre-sentence report prepared for the court.

“(He’s) a decent young man with many obstacles in his way,” Justice Thompson observed, who also noted that Williams is remorseful for killing his half brother.