Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Killer sentenced to 70 years in Chaundra Davis case

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD — The man who killed his girlfriend back in 2008 will spend a total of 70 years behind bars a Winnebago County judge ordered last Friday, March 23.

Judge Ronald White sentenced James Edward Williams, 52, to 60 years in prison for first-degree murder and 10 years for concealment of a homicidal death. Williams was found guilty after jury trial in January.

He was convicted of killing Chaundra Davis, who was reported missing on Nov. 8, 2008, when she failed to pick up one of her children from the home of a family member. Her body was found Nov. 22 in the Rock River.

An autopsy found that Davis had been strangled.

“He treated her like a piece of garbage and threw her into a watery grave,” Marilyn Hite Ross, chief of the criminal bureau in the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office, said at Williams’ trial.

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 with a sentencing range of two to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Illinois’ truth-in-sentencing requires Williams to serve 100 percent of his sentence for first-degree murder. He was given credit for 1,032 days served. Williams was in prison on an unrelated charge when he was charged with Davis’ murder in 2015. R.

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