Houston, Texas - A Texas man has admitted to his participation in the July 2014 murder outside a parole office in Houston, Texas, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick for the Southern District of Texas.
Clyde Williams, 52, of Houston, Texas, admitted to conspiracy to commit murder for hire. U.S. District Judge Sim Lake accepted the plea and has set sentencing for Sept. 17, 2020. At that time, Williams faces up to life imprisonment for his participation in this murder for hire scheme.
During the hearing today, Williams admitted that in June 2014, he was hired to kill a 43-year-old Houston man. He expected to be paid $20,000 in return.
The victim was to be killed because he was suspected of stealing approximately 50 kilograms of cocaine from a truck driver involved in a drug organization – David Roberts, 44, of Houston. Roberts has also pleaded guilty, admitting to regularly transporting large kilograms of cocaine from Houston to Atlanta, Georgia, and transporting large quantities of cash on behalf of the drug organization’s leader.
In April 2014, Roberts received two duffle bags filled with cocaine in Houston. Soon after the delivery, a lone gunman robbed Roberts of the cocaine. The leader of the drug organization believed the victim and another individual were responsible for the robbery and assembled a plan to kill them.
On April 23, 2014, the other individual was kidnapped, zip-tied and put in the trunk of a car. While being transported, he was able to break free, open the trunk and jump out of the vehicle. A good Samaritan saw him, picked him up and attempted to drive him to safety. However, they were pursued and attacked with gunshots. Both were struck but survived.
Following this failed deadly attack, the second victim was targeted. Williams was hired to conduct the murder and was provided a firearm. Williams admitted he was told the victim would be meeting with his parole officer on July 1, 2014. Following the appointment, the victim returned to his vehicle in the parking lot, at which time Williams fired multiple shots, some at close range, killing the man as he sat in the driver’s seat.
The charges are the result of the Houston Law Enforcement Violent Crime Initiative created in June 2017 which combines personnel and resources from numerous local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. The goal of the initiative is to proactively fight and reduce violent crime across the Greater Houston area by targeting the region’s most violent offenders, augmenting investigative and prosecutorial efforts, and enhancing training, public awareness and education.
The FBI, Houston Police Department, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, U.S. Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Marshals Service and the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation. Trial Attorney Jim Nelson of the Department of Justice’s Capital Case Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steve Mellin and Sebastian Edwards are prosecuting the case.