Elizabeth Pledger-Stewart’s sons attacked her killer, Dale Williams, in a Youngstown, Ohio, courtroom, on July 11 in a video that quickly went viral.
The crazy video was originally shot Youngstown’s CBS affiliate WKBN. The video begins just after the melee has begun as the two brothers, Anthony Dees and Jerome Stewart, break through a barricade of security guards to get to Williams, 59. The video shows deputies wrestling with Dees while Stewart appears to land several punches on Williams’ head as he is chained. Stewart then shouts, “He killed my mother, man!”
One of the Brothers Was About to Give a Victim Impact Statement When the Melee Broke Out
Eventually, one of the brothers is tased, while the other surrenders and both are handcuffed by officers. Just prior to the brawl, Pledger-Stewart’s family, including one of the attackers, was about to give victim impact statements to the judge.
You can watch the full video here:
Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene told the media afterward, “Our deputies there intervened. We had extra officers in the courtroom to begin with,” he said. “I’m sure they knew that there were some tensions with this sentencing hearing. From everything I can see, the officers acted appropriately. In fact, did a pretty good job, in my opinion.” Both sons are facing charges of with contempt of court with additional charges pending.
Williams Pleaded Guilty to Shooting Pledger-Smith ‘5 or 6’ Times on the Morning of June 15, 2017
Williams had already confessed to shooting Pledger-Smith dead after running her off of the road along Market Street in Youngstown. Williams said that he waited for 45 minutes in his car until Pledger-Smith drove by. She was 46 years old. Due to the July 11 drama, Williams’ sentencing has been rescheduled. Williams pleaded guilty in May 2019 to the shooting.
The Youngstown Vindicator reports that Judge Maureen Sweeney was expected to hand down a sentence of 23 years to life for the shooting. Williams and Pledger-Smith had previously been in a relationship together and she had expressed concerns to police that he had threatened her in the past. Williams had apparently believed that Pledger-Smith was seeing someone else during their relationship.
It was reported at the time when Pledger-Smith was found, she had been shot “repeatedly.” One witness told WFMJ that he saw Williams stand over Pledger-Smith and shoot her “five or six” times. The witness said, “He stood over the lady and just shot her.” In addition to her sons, Pledger-Smith was also the mother of a teenage daughter.