Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

December 15, 2013

Man arrested for heroin after release for murder

Williams had been incarcerated for 1995 slaying

Tim Preston
The Independent

ASHLAND — Only a few weeks after his release from prison for his role in the 1995 murder of Roger White on Arnett Drive in Westwood, Michael Shane Williams was back in jail in Boyd County after law enforcement officers arranged to buy two grams of heroin from him at a local motel.

“He first gave us a Tennessee I.D. that said he was Shane Justice. He started talking to us and said he’d just served 18 years for first degree murder on a 30-year sentence for beating a man to death with a baseball bat in Westwood. He was 38 days out of prison,” said Boyd County Sheriff’s Dept. Sgt. Rob Donta.

Officials at the Boyd County Detention Center called Donta after the man was taken into custody and told him he had admitted providing a false I.D. and that he had been identified as 36-year-old Michael Shane Williams.

Sgt. Donta said Williams and his girlfriend, Rebecca Harris of Ashland were each charged Friday with trafficking a controlled substance first degree (two grams and over), which is a Class “C” felony. The arrests were made after officers arranged a controlled buy at the Budget Inn Express for two grams of heroin. Williams and Harris were pulled over on Bob McCullough Drive while driving a black 2008 Lexus away from the hotel, Donta said, noting Harris was in possession of the money used to buy the drug.

Williams, who was sentenced in September 1997 by Boyd Circuit Judge C. David Hagerman, served time in the Marion Adjustment Center, according to the Kentucky Offender Online Lookup System. Williams pleaded guilty to charges of murder, first-degree burglary and theft in connection with the Oct. 21, 1995, slaying of 46-year-old Roger White. Authorities said White was beaten to death with an aluminum baseball bat when he interrupted a burglary at his residence on Arnett Drive. White’s body wasn’t found until five days after his murder, when he failed to show up for work at the now-closed Allied-Signal plant in Ironton.

Williams was sentenced to 30 years. He and Timothy Eugene Mullins, 42, were the only two members of the quintet convicted in White’s murder to remain in prison. Mullins — who pleaded guilty to murder, burglary and theft and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for 20 years — was identified as the defendant who wielded the bat. Williams, who was a juvenile at the time of the murder, maintained he never hit White. But, in statements to police, Mullins said Williams took his turn with the bat. Three other defendants, Thomas Scott Williams —Shane Williams’ brother — Brandon Reffitt and Harry Reynolds, all pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Donta said Williams was not on parole at the time of his recent arrest.

“He told us he had served out.”

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.