Robert Maurice Williams was sentenced Friday to 40 years in prison for killing a man over crack cocaine.
In June, Williams was convicted of murdering Glenn Allan Corum in the Colonial Village apartment complex in Manassas.
Circuit Court Judge LeRoy D. Millette said the sentence serves both as a punishment and a way to keep society safe; Williams has many previous convictions, some violent in nature.
Before the sentencing, Williams – who plead not guilty in June – maintained his innocence.
“I’d like to say to the court and the family that my sympathies go out, but I’m not the person who killed their family member,” Williams, 35, said.
However, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jerrold J. Negin asked Millette to impose the full 43-year sentence recommended in June by the jury.
“This was a completely senseless murder,” Negin said before the sentencing. “He just murdered (Corum) over an argument.”
According to the testimony of Jonathan Ross, who witnessed the shooting, Corum and Williams got into a disagreement over drugs during the early morning hours of July 27, 2004.
Earlier that night, Corum and Ross made two trips to a Colonial Village apartment to buy crack, Ross testified in June during Williams’ trial.
On the second trip, Ross waited in the car while Corum went to a third-floor apartment. After about 45 minutes, Ross got out of the car and smoked a cigarette with Williams, who was standing nearby.
Williams and Ross then went up to the apartment to get Corum, and the three men returned to the parking lot, Ross testified.
The entire way down the stairs, Williams was demanding either money or drugs from Corum.
“(Williams) was just getting louder and louder,” Ross testified in June.
Ross got into his own car, and watched through his rear-view mirror as Williams approached Corum’s vehicle. After a moment, Williams backed off and walked up to another man who was standing in the parking lot, then returned to Corum’s driver-side window, Ross said.
Two shots were fired, and Williams and the other man took off running, Ross testified.
Corum’s sister found his body later that morning, slumped over in his car.
Two days later, Manassas police picked up Williams, who said he spent the intervening time at a Washington, D.C., homeless shelter, Manassas police officer Charles Barnes said in June.
When he was arrested, Williams had a day-old copy of the Potomac News in his backpack that contained a story about the murder.