Man accused of killing officer appears in court - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Man accused of killing officer appears in court

Deonta Jamarr Williamson (Source: Pemiscot Co. Sheriff's Office) Deonta Jamarr Williamson (Source: Pemiscot Co. Sheriff's Office)

The man accused of killing a Caruthersville police officer made his first appearance in court Thursday.

Deonta Williamson, 29, of Hayti, is faces six charges, including first degree murder, after police say he intentially drove a stolen truck into the patrol car of Evan Burns, killing him at the scene.

Deonta's parents, Rhonda and Danny Webster, say their hearts hurt for officer Burns' family.

They say their son suffered from mental illnesses, including post traumatic stress, paranoia and schizophrenia.

They say the symptoms started nearly a decade ago after Deonta had his arm amputated after he was shot.

Rhonda Webster says her son is not guilty of any crimes, the mental illness is.

"My son is sick," she said. "I need the public to know that was not my son.  Mental illness took the life of officer Burns. It also took my sons life."

"That was not my son," added Danny Webster. "I could see it in his eyes that night."

Danny Webster says his sons problems started earlier that night when he says his son lit a fire close to where he was sleeping before stealing his truck and driving it from O'Fallon, MO to Hayti.

That's when Pemiscot County deputies spotted Williamson in the allegedly stolen truck.

The ensuing chase eventually killed Burns.

Along with Williamson's friends and family, several law enforcement officers were also in the court room.

They wore black bands over their badges.

Some of the officers said while losing Burns is somewhat starting to set in, his death will leave a lasting impact on the department.

Williamson's next court appearance is scheduled for August 29, when a preliminary hearing date will be set.

He could face the death penalty.

Williamson is currently being held without bond in the Pemiscot County Jail.

He does not yet have an attorney.

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