HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Monday honored the life of Eric Williams, a federal corrections guard from Nanticoke who was killed by an inmate at the United States Penitentiary in Canaan Township in February.
Williams’ parents, Donald and Jean, and his sister, Lauren, were in the House chamber for the vote and received an ovation after they were recognized by Speaker Sam Smith.
House Resolution 177, which was introduced by state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Newport Township, received unanimous approval.
“The cowardly act committed upon Eric nearly three months ago robbed his family of a son and brother,” Mullery said during his remarks in the House chamber. “It robbed the city of Nanticoke and the 119th District of a dedicated and loyal public servant.”
Williams, 34, was killed by an inmate who assaulted him with a homemade weapon. The attack happened as Williams was preparing to lock inmates in their cells for a nightly head count. A federal judge has identified Jessie Con-ui, a gang member and convicted murderer from Arizona, as the suspect in Williams’ death. No charges have been filed in his death at this time.
Con-Ui was one of seven people charged in 2003 in connection with a drug distribution ring in Arizona. He was sentenced in June 2005 to 11 years, three months in prison for his role that ring.
Mullery lamented the loss of one of his constituents.
“When we lose someone in Nanticoke, it’s not just a name. It’s someone we routinely see at St. Faustina’s Parish on Sunday, someone we are not surprised to see at a Trojan game or someone we see at Weis Markets. It’s somebody we know and care for.”
Mullery described Williams as a kind person with a great sense of humor. Williams, an avid outdoorsman, had bought a cottage on Lilly Lake and dreamed of refurbishing it.
“He was able to complete the interior renovation, but was taken from us before he could complete the job,” Mullery said. In his honor and as a tribute to him, Mullery said Eric’s family will complete the renovation.