PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A four-day manhunt for a man accused of killing a sheriff’s deputy in Maine started after a store clerk called 911 to report an armed robbery of cigarettes and a bottle of water, according to a transcript of the call obtained by The Associated Press.
The AP received the transcript through a public records request released Wednesday.
John Williams has been charged with killing 61-year-old Somerset County Cpl. Eugene Cole on April 25 in Norridgewock. Prosecutors are seeking a life prison sentence.
Williams’ attorney declined to comment.
An affidavit says Williams killed Cole and then stole the deputy’s marked pickup truck and robbed a convenience store.
A cashier told the 911 dispatcher that a man driving a sheriff’s pickup truck entered the store and took an Old Gold cigarette pack and displayed a firearm, according to the transcript.
“I grabbed the Old Gold and went to the stand and he took it and ran,” she said.
The cashier said she believed the pickup was the same one a law enforcement officer had filled up at the store minutes earlier.
Williams was arrested outside a remote cabin April 28, the fourth day of a massive manhunt in the region. He was shirtless and shoeless when he was captured and appeared exhausted when he was led out of the woods.
A friend said he met up with Williams after the shooting and that the two smoked drugs using a “crack pipe,” according to the affidavit. Friends have described Williams as antsy and having body armor with him.
Colleagues of Cole have praised him as a kind and patient deputy, one who was known for defusing volatile situations and treating those he arrested with respect.
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