published Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Co-defendant in 2011 murder pleads guilty to lesser charge

This morning a 24-year-old Chattanooga man pleaded guilty to helping his co-defendant murder another man in 2011.

Napoleon Deangelo Justice pleaded guilty in Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern's courtroom to facilitation of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to eight years.

Under Tennessee Department of Corrections guidelines he must serve 30 percent of the sentence, or two years and five months before he is parole eligible.

Justice has been in jail custody since shortly after the July 27, 2011, robbery-murder that killed James Williams, Jr.

His attorney said this afternoon that Justice is parole eligible now but the TDOC must decide whether to grant parole.

Justice had been charged with first-degree murder along with Jerrico "Ri-Ri" Hawthorne in Williams death.

Hawthorne went on trial in August. A jury found him guilty of murder and he was sentenced to life in prison.

Police and prosecutors claim the pair ambushed Williams at his 2305 E. 17th St. home and show him 14 times. Williams identified Hawthorne as the shooter before he died.

For more see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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