By Jim Hagerty
ROCKFORD — Jury selection in the murder trial of James E. Williams is set to being Monday, Jan. 8, at the Winnebago County Courthouse.
Williams, 52, faces three counts of first-degree murder and a single count of concealing a homicide.
The trial comes nearly a decade after the body of 38-year-old Chaundra Davis was found Nov. 22, 2008, in the Rock River near Davis Park. The mother of three had been strangled to death.
A family member reported Davis missing Nov. 8, 2008, when she failed to pick up two of her children from her sister’s house. The case then went unsolved for more than six years.
Williams, who was in a romantic relationship with Davis when she went missing, was in the Statesville Correctional Center serving time for sexual assault in 2015 when he was indicted by the Winnebago County grand jury. He is currently lodged in the Winnebago County Jail.
First-degree murder is a Class M felony, punishable by 20 to 60 years in prison. Concealment of a homicidal death is a Class 3 felony that comes with a sentencing range of two to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Jury selection is scheduled to being at 8:30 a.m., in Courtroom 316, in front of Judge Ronald White.
City and County Cold Cases
The Rockford Police and Winnebago County Sheriff’s departments are currently working more than 100 unsolved homicide cases. Here’s a look at some of them.
Natasha N. Cleary, Marquwon Owens and Katarion Friar
Natasha Cleary and her sons, Marquwon Owens, 12, and Katarion Friar, 2., were found among the ashes of a house fire Sunday, April 17, 2011. An autopsy determined all three victims had been shot. A surveillance photo of an unknown masked man attempting to use Cleary’s debit card was also captured at a local ATM machine, yet no arrests have been made.
Daniel E. Cooney
The body of 18-year-old Eagle Scout Daniel Cooney was found Aug. 8, 2011, at Eckberg Pine Manor Park, in the 3700 block of Balsam Lane. He died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Dennis P. Aliprandini
Dennis Aliprandini, 46, was shot Oct. 24, 2008, during a home invasion in the 700 block of Loomis Street. Police say Aliprandini struggled with one of two black male suspects before he was killed.
Donald Burton and Joseph Greco
Donald Burton and Joseph Greco, both 21, were found on May 2, 1959, in the trunk of a car parked on Montague Road just east of Meridian. They were beaten to death. The men were known to frequent illegal gambling operations in the northern Illinois area.
Day care teacher Teressa Wiley, 35, was shot to death during a home invasion that occurred in the early hours of Saturday Jan. 30, 2016, in the 1300 block of Carbaugh Avenue. She was visiting a friend. No arrests have been made.
Sixty-five-year-old Constance Hounsell was found dead in her home at 6441 Alice Lane, Rockton, two days after Christmas 2008. She suffered a stab wound to the neck. Hounsell lived alone; there was no sign of forced entry.
Sandra M. Daniels
The skeletal remains of Sandra Daniels, 56, were found Sunday Jan. 7, 2007 on Rawley Road, north of Yale Bridge Road. Daniels, of Elm Grove Village, Wisconsin, was reported missing by her husband in June 2000. Police say she left Wisconsin on her own.
Lottie W. Flowers
Winnebago County deputies responding to a medical assist call Feb. 23, 2002, located 71-year-old Lottie W. Flowers inside her home at 730 Newport Avenue. She had been stabbed multiple times. She died at a local hospital. Flowers lived in her home with her husband, son and grandson.
Anyone with information about any of these cold cases is urged to call the Rockford Police Detective Bureau at 779-500-6555, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police Detective Bureau at 815-319-6400, or Crime Stoppers, 815-963-7867. R.