Andalusia police chief draws fire from Luverne D.A.

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 6, 2002

Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams Jr. has apparently drawn the ire of a district attorney in Luverne for comments he made regarding the recent mass murder of six people in Crenshaw County.

Westley Devone Harris has been accused of allegedly killing six relatives of his girlfriend, Janice Ball. He was accused of killing Willie Haslip, JoAnn Ball, their three sons, Jerry, Tony and John and the family matriarch, Mila Ruth Ball last week.

District Attorney John Andrews, who will prosecute the case against Harris, is apparently upset with Williams comments that Harris's girlfriend did not appear to have been held against his will and that she may have had numerous chances to leave Harris, who faces the death penalty if convicted of the six capital murder charges currently set against him, or to call the police.

Williams, reached at his office on Thursday, said he did not wish to engage in a verbal war of words with Andrews.

"I am not going to have any further comments on this matter, and I do not wish to start a verbal battle (with Andrews)," said Williams. "This is politics and I don't want to get into politics. I am just a police chief in Andalusia trying to do my job. An investigator in the case has made a request to me to refrain from making additional comments about the matter, and I am going to do that out of respect for a genuine request by this investigator. If I am called before a grand jury or something then that's fine."

Andrews has said he intends to bring the chief before a grand jury or at some hearing to verify various information from Williams about the case.