County jail guard arraigned on attempted manslaughter charge

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An Allegheny County corrections officer was arraigned today on attempted voluntary manslaughter and assault charges after police say she tried to kill her ex with her car last month in Washington County.

Erica M. Williams, 24, of Carnegie, turned herself in this morning, her attorney, David Shrager, said. She is not permitted to be in Washington County unless accompanied by Mr. Shrager, nor is she allowed to have contact with Jolene Anderson, who she is accused of hitting with her car March 26.

Ms. Williams has been released on $100,000 unsecured bond.

Mr. Shrager said the women had spent time together earlier that day with a friend. The friend and Ms. Williams went to pick up Ms. Anderson and returned to the friend's place to hang out and watch TV.

What happened later was an accident, he said.

"At no time did she intend to harm or injure the victim in any way, shape or form," he said.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m., Ms. Williams started yelling at Ms. Anderson when she saw her get out of Cedric Sutton's vehicle, a man Ms. Anderson claimed to be involved with since she ended a relationship with Ms. Williams, Washington city Patrolman Joseph Fichter wrote in a criminal complaint.

Ms. Anderson tried to yell back "at which time the defendant accelerated rapidly from 5-7 feet away from the victim hitting her without any attempt made to swerve or brake," Patrolman Fichter wrote.

Ms. Anderson was hit by the front of car and thrown over its hood. According to the complaint, Ms. Williams drove off but then came back and broke the windows out of Mr. Sutton's vehicle.

In addition to felony attempted voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges, Ms. Williams has been charged with terroristic threats for two text messages police said she sent to Ms. Anderson earlier that day.

She has also been charged with criminal mischief for breaking the car windows.

Ms. Williams has been a corrections officer with Allegheny County for four years, Mr. Shrager said. In that time, she's had no disciplinary issues.

KDKA-TV is reporting Ms. Williams is suspended without pay from her job and faces an April 16 preliminary hearing.

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Molly Born:mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944.


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