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John Williams’ killer pleads guilty

Written by Craig Ogan

An arsonist’s fire about a year ago shook the LGBT, Utah business and general communities by taking the life of well-known Salt Lake City restaurateur John Williams (pictured above).

The arsonist, no longer alleged, Craig Crawford — plead guilty to first-degree felony counts of aggravated murder and aggravated arson in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, June 26.

Williams and Crawford were married for 20 years and had filed for divorce. Williams filed for a protective order shortly before the fire and his death. Charges indicate Williams was in the process of evicting Crawford from the home, located near 600 North and East Capitol Street (200 East), and had expressed fear of Crawford and filed a petition for a protective order on May 2, 2016.

According to media reports, an attorney for Crawford said, with the guilty plea, prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty. Judge James Blanch will decide at a later hearing about life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Williams was a well-known LGBT community member, political and arts philanthropist and mentor to thousands of LGBT employees of his popular Market Street Grill, Oyster Bar and other restaurants founded beginning in this 1970s with partners Tom Seig and Tom Guinney.

 

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Craig Ogan

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