TULSA, Okla. – An Ottawa County man convicted of assaulting a classmate leaving him a paraplegic and bragging about his injuries will be sentenced on Friday.
Jace Christian Williams, 23, of Miami entered the guilty plea in February in U.S. District Court to assault resulting in serious bodily injury in Indian Country.
His sentencing hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell.
Williams’ decision to plea came just as closing arguments were about to begin in his federal trial.
Federal prosecutors filed a motion earlier this month asking the Court to increase Williams’ sentence above the federal sentencing guidelines to account for Owen Looper’s “significant physical injuries,” according to online documents.
Trial testimony showed in the days leading up to the crime, Williams told a student that he was going to make sure Looper could not “use his arms or legs for five months,” according to a prepared statement released in February by U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
Multiple witnesses saw Williams suddenly approach Looper from behind and before the victim could turn around, Williams wrapped his arms around Looper’s body, lifted him backward, and slammed him head-first onto the ground. Williams proceeded to punch the victim in the back repeatedly and then spat on him, according to the statement.
Another witness said Williams ripped off his own shirt and bragged that what he had done to the victim was “fun” and that he wanted to do it again, the statement says.
The assault left Looper with a C6-7 fracture and paralyzed.
Williams’ attorney, John Dunn, filed a sentencing memorandum calling his client “an All-American boy” and asked for leniency, including probation and community service where he could educate “teenagers as to the hazards of unforseen (sic) consequences that can occur when people get into fights.”
The court document refers to the assault as a “school yard fight” between Williams and Looper.
Dunn’s motion details the 2017 assault.
“After staying up all night texting each other and sharing their troubles about Jace’s girlfriend, things change. In the morning of November 2, 2017, Mr. Looper texted Mr. Williams and was met with a hostile response,” the court document states.
A rumor circulating indicated Williams was going to have a threesome sexual act, the court document states.
“This caused trouble in their relationship and Mr. Williams was angry at Mr. Looper,” the court document states.
Throughout the next couple of days, the friends exchanged hostile words and text messages with each other, the court document states.
Williams has a criminal history of a 3-year deferred sentence for knowingly concealing stolen property, according to online documents.