Home Philadelphia Press Releases 2013 Federal Inmate Pleads Guilty in Pennsylvania to Prison Murder

Federal Inmate Pleads Guilty in Pennsylvania to Prison Murder

U.S. Department of Justice April 15, 2013
  • Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/TDD (202) 514-1888

WASHINGTON—A federal inmate pleaded guilty today for the violent murder of a fellow inmate in Pennsylvania’s Allenwood Correctional Complex, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Peter J. Smith.

Ritz D. Williams Jr., 32, of Gila River Indian Reservation, Sacaton, Arizona, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane to one count of first-degree murder and possession of a weapon.

Williams and his co-conspirator Shawn Cooya were indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2008, and a superseding indictment was returned in July 2009.

According to court documents, Williams and Cooya aided each other in the premeditated murder of inmate Alvin Allery. On September 28, 2005, Williams and Cooya stabbed Allery 10 times with a homemade knife and repeatedly kicked him in the head and torso, which resulted in Allery’s death.

On January 8, 2013, Cooya pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder. On March 18, 2013, he was sentenced to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole.

As a result of Williams’s plea, he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. His sentencing has been scheduled for May 15, 2013, in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wayne P. Samuelson and Michelle Olshefski of the Middle District of Pennsylvania and Trial Attorneys Julie B. Mosley and Mike Warbel of the Criminal Division’s Capital Case Unit (CCU) and former CCU Trial Attorney C.J. Williams. The case was investigated by the Bureau of Prisons and the FBI.